Flyers to have new look vs. Leafs; sign 2 prospects

Chris Pronger is expected to return to the lineup Thursday after missing the Flyers' last game. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

    Because of injuries and an illness, the Flyers will have a new-look lineup Thursday against visiting Toronto.

     Winger Dan Carcillo (ill) missed his second straight practice Wednesday and probably won't play Thursday. Winger James van Riemsdyk, who appears to have a groin issue, skated Wednesday but is doubtful for the game.

    Defenseman Chris Pronger (hand) and center Blair Betts (finger) are both probable for Thursday. Both are coming off injuries. Darroll Powe will likely take face-offs for Betts, who is still trying to regain strength in his left ring finger.

     The Flyers, coming off Saturday's listless 4-1 loss to lowly Ottawa, had their third straight grueling practice Wednesday.

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     "Hopefully, it pays dividends," GM Paul Holmgren said.

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     The lines for Thursday may look like this:

      Hartnell-Briere-Leino;  Nodl-Giroux-Carter. Zherdev-Richards-Versteeg; Shelley-Betts-Powe.

     Coach Peter Laviolette may flip-flop Zherdev and Nodl. He has had them on different lines the last two practices.

     Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to be in the nets Thursday.

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       The Flyers signed right winger Jason Akeson of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers and center Tyler Brown of the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers to entry-level contracts that will begin at the start of the 2011-12 season.

     Akeson, 20, leads the OHL in scoring with 24 goals and 79 assists for 103 points.  He is plus-26. Brown, 21, has 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists) and four shorthanded goals. Both players are Ontario natives.

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   For constant Flyers updates, follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at


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