Two games into his comeback from abdominal surgery and related injuries, Shawn Bates suffered a hip injury that knocked him out of the lineup against Atlanta last night at Nassau Coliseum. Bates said he "fell awkwardly behind the net" in the third period against the Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. Bates underwent an MRI exam Friday and will have to have another one after the inflammation goes down. After suffering a pulled groin last Jan. 30, Bates missed the rest of the season and the first 21 games this season because he later required surgery. Bates was replaced by Sean Bergenheim, who had a shoulder injury earlier this season and saw his playing time reduced. "It's always tough to play three, four and five minutes and being scratched," said Bergenheim, who is healthy now. "But we're playing pretty good as a team, which is the most important thing. I want to be a bigger part of the team, but sometimes, a young player has to be patient." Bergenheim replaced Andy Hilbert on a line with Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter.