Simon Gagne understands the concern and the questions.

He was getting them not just from the media after he left the ice in the second period of the Flyers' loss to New Jersey Thursday night, but from his family, too.

He missed all but 24 games of last season while suffering from concussion symptoms, and having Gagne leave a game early with no clear explanation from the team drew immediate questions about another concussion.

"It's going to be like this every time something happens this year," Gagne said. "Not only [the media], but my family. For them to watch the game last night, they called me to see if something happened again.

"Same thing with my wife. It's going to be like that for maybe the rest of the season. But no, there is nothing to worry about, everything is OK. It was just a bug, a virus, nothing more."

Gagne went into the game after not feeling well for a few days. He played, but by the second period, he was fatigued and dehydrated and couldn't continue.

Despite having the same symptoms, dehydration and fatigue, last year after suffering his second concussion in Pittsburgh, Gagne said Thursday night and again yesterday that he is fine and would play tonight in Carolina.

"I remember waking up and having the symptoms I did in the past year and the way I feel now when I go out there, and skating, I feel good," he said. "It's nothing really close to what I went through last year.

"It was a tough injury. It's something that is going to stick to me for a while.

"Right now, I don't want to get ahead, but I feel better today, more energized, so having the rest of the day and part of the day [today] I don't see why I'm not going to play [tonight].

"To get a concussion, you have to get hit. It's not a factor right now. Me not playing for 8 months and coming back this year, if you look at the last week, it's been hockey, day off, and hockey. So it's a lot of games right now.

"I knew this year I would have some ups and downs, and right now maybe I've got a little fatigued, a bit of stomach flu, or dehydration and for sure every time something happens to me what happens last year will come back at first. But there is nothing to worry about."

Snap shots

Kimmo Timonen also left the game Thursday. The Flyers' defenseman said he suffered a shoulder bruise but yesterday said he felt "all right" and planned on playing tonight . . . Matt Carle (back spasms) will not play; he is day-to-day. *