Pronger talks about his recovery; Boosh starting

(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

   ATLANTA _ Two days after he had surgery to repair a small fracture in his right hand, Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger reiterated he will be 100 percent for the playoffs.

    In a conference call with reporters Thursday, Pronger said doctors feel he will be back in his normal form for the postseason. "But none of us are Kreskin," he said.

    Pronger, 36, said he would have the bandages taken off his swollen hand Sunday. A short time later, he will have a splint placed on the hand and hopes to begin skating and riding an exercise bike.

    As the Flyers go down the stretch, Pronger said, it wasn't easy missing games.

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    "You always want to be part of the team," he said, "but I have to use the time wisely, so when I get back, it's almost like it's seamless."

     The Flyers are hopeful Pronger can return for the last few regular-season games in order to get ready for the playoffs.

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    The Flyers will play the Atlanta Thrashers Thurdsay night and try to avenge Saturday's 5-4 overtime loss.

    The memories of that epic collapse should be fresh on the players' minds.

    Leading 3-0 entering the final period, the Flyers allowed five goals in a little over 20 minutes. It marked the first time since 1987 they had lost when taking at least a three-goal lead into the third period.

    Rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson will be in the lineup Thursday; he will replace veteran Nick Boynton, who struggled in Tuesday's 3-2 win in Florida.

     Goalie Brian Boucher will make his second straight start.

    With 13 games remaining, the Flyers are one-point ahead of second-place Washington in the East; the Caps have played three more games.

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