Niittymaki leaves game with hip injury

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Philadelphia goalie Antero Niittymaki left Wednesday night's 3-1 loss at Florida after two periods because of a hip injury.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren described the injury as a slight strain but said the team would know more on Thursday.

Niittymaki, who made his 16th consecutive start for the Flyers, stopped 22-of-24 shots before being replaced by Robert Esche.

"I felt a little sore the whole game, more and more every time I went down," Niittymaki said. "I felt it was better to be safe than sorry."

Esche's appearance Wednesday was his first after missing 11 games following groin surgery. He stopped 8-of-9 shots in the third period.