Good news on Jones; lines juggled; Nitty ill

     DENVER _ The Flyers received good news on defenseman Randy Jones today: Jones' hip surgery yesterday revealed that his injury isn't as severe as it was feared.

    As a result, Jones will miss seven to nine weeks _ not the 12-to-16-week time frame that had been projected, general manager Paul Holmgren said.

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   At today's morning skate, Flyers coach John Stevens juggled the lines for tonight's matchup with Colorado.

    Steve Downie went from being the fourth-line center to the third-line right wing. Joffrey Lupul, who had been at RW, will center the third line, with Scott Hartnell at LW. Lupul will be playing C for the firt time since juniors.

   The move was made to get Lupul and Downie untracked.

   Center Glen Metropolit was shifted from the third line to the fourth line.

   In another development, goalie Antero Niittymaki was ill and missed the morning skate. There had been indications that Nitty was going to start tonight. Instead, Marty Biron will get the call _ and he needs a strong game to boost his confidence.

   Here is how the lines will look tonight:





     The Flyers (0-2-1) have a golden opportunity to get their power play (2 for 19) going tonight; Colorado (0-3) has allowed goals in five of its 12 shorthanded situations.

    The Flyers may move their Oct. 25 game against the visiting Devils from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. because the Phillies have a home World Series game that night.

   Downie, a big baseball fan, is hoping Matt Stairs _ the hero in Game 4 of the LCS _  gets some time as a DH in the World Series. Downie followed Stairs' career when he played for Toronto.