Michael Leighton started his third straight game in goal for the Flyers last night in place of Ray Emery, who underwent an MRI yesterday on his sore left hip.

A team source told the Daily News that Emery could have a torn labrum that may require surgery.

General manager Paul Holmgren said the results from the MRI were not immediately available yesterday.

"It seems to be an issue with a lot of goalies in the league and we're hoping to learn from what Ray underwent today," Holmgren said. "A lot of goalies have this issue because of the way they play, so I think it's probably something like that."

Holmgren wouldn't rule out the possibility of surgery for Emery - but didn't say it was imminent, either.

"Is it something where down the road we need to address this surgically? We need to get a feel of where he's at right now," Holmgren said. "We all seem to think he's going to be fine for the short term, anyway. We'll have a better idea about the long term after we get the results."

Emery skated for more than an hour at yesterday's morning skate at the Wachovia Center and "took it easy," according to Holmgren. He also skated for 45 minutes on Sunday.

Said Holmgren: "[He is] going to push it hard [Tuesday] with the idea that he'll be ready to play Wednesday [at New Jersey]."

Leighton made 28 saves in the Flyers' 3-2 victory over New Jersey.

- Frank Seravalli