As if losing the first three games wasn't troubling and trying enough, the Flyers learned before Thursday night's game against the Rangers that forward Scott Hartnell will miss the next four to eight weeks with a broken foot.

But less than an hour after general manager Paul Holmgren said "it was a tough pill to swallow," losing the team's leading goal scorer from last season, former Flyers right winger Mike Knuble joined the club. Knuble, 40, is expected to play this weekend in Saturday's game against the Panthers and Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Knuble, an unrestricted free agent who was a fan favorite in Philadelphia from 2006 to 2009, played the last three seasons in Washington. He was playing with Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate when the Flyers called. He had one assist in one game for Grand Rapids.

The 6-foot-3 Knuble, a rugged presence in front of the net, scored 114 goals in four seasons with the Flyers before going to the Capitals, where he collected 59 goals and 52 assists in three seasons. He scored only six goals last year in Washington, however.

Hartnell, who netted 37 goals last season, suffered the break above his left big toe Tuesday night in the 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils when he was hit by a Kimmo Timonen shot in the laces of his skate.

Holmgren said the Flyers and doctors are deciding if Hartnell's broken metatarsal will require surgery.