Kadri, McKegg at home in London

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:19 PM ET

Luca Caputi is on a roll, while local boys Nazem Kadri and Greg McKegg hope home cooking helps their cause to make the team when the Maple Leafs play the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ont.

Caputi is coming off a strong outing on Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators, using his new improved physique to maximum effectiveness. With 15 extra pounds, he can drive the net as he did through the early part of camp, paying off with a goal and assist against the Sens.

“I score most of my goals, about 80% of them, from the hash marks in, so I’ve been looking forward to training camp,” Caputi said as the Leafs boarded their bus in Etobicoke. “I've been getting pucks deep, forcing the puck to the net.”

Caputi, acquired at the March trade deadline for Alexei Ponikarovski, doesn’t want to waste this chance to play for his hometown Leafs, so he took to the gym with determination after they missed the playoffs.

“So I could play my style and not get pushed off pucks,” he said. "I took everything Brian Burke and Ron Wilson told me to heart, that I was right there, my foot’s in the door, if I really work hard in the off-season.”

Kadri is trying to live up to his billing as a first-round pick and potential second-line centre, but the process has been slow. The game in London, where he grew up and scored 93 points last year for the OHL Knights, should be an emotional lift. Though he has the talented Kris Versteeg and Colby Armstrong on the wings, Kadri was among many Leafs who looked confused in Tuesday’s exhibition opener, a 5-0 loss to Ottawa.

“This is one of the last times I’ll be playing in London, so it’s very exciting for me,” said Kadri, whose junior eligibility is up. “We have to keep it simple tonight. (Tuesday) it got too complicated and we dug ourselves a hole.”

Armstromg and Versteeg will be back with him against the Flyers.

“We’d like to see Nazem get a little bit more creative offensively,” assistant coach Rob Zettler said. “He doesn’t look like he has as much jump as last year. In the first game, he took some really long shifts that we have to shorten up. He’s playing with two good linemates, but he has to play hard at both ends of the ice.”

McKegg is Toronto’s second pick from the draft, a St. Thomas native who lit it up with 85 points in the OHL for the Erie Otters last season.

The Leafs had an extra forward at their morning skate at the MasterCard Centre, but its unclear who among Tim Brent, Ryan Hamilton, and Darryl Boyce will sit against Philly.

They also brought along enforcer Jay Rosehill to play in what would be his third game in as many nights, the maximum allowed in pre-season under the CBA. Rosehill has fought in his first two contests.

The Leafs and Flyers will have a rematch Friday in Toronto. Then it’s on to Buffalo for the last of five in five before the cuts come.

Jonas Gustavsson is expected to start in goal against the Flyers.

Tonight’s lineup

Goal

Jonas Gustavsson

James Reimer

Defence

Francois Beauchemin Luke Schenn

Matt Lasoff Danny Richmond

Brett Lebda Korbinian Holzer

Forwards

Kris Versteeg Nazem Kadri Colby Armstrong

Marcel Mueller Brayden Irwin Luca Caputi

Darryl Boyce Tim Brent Greg McKegg/Ryan Hamilton

Mike Brown Christian Hanson Jay Rosehill


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