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Rangers' Brassard '100 percent' for Game 1

Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer / Rangers-Flyers series blog

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Rangers' Brassard '100 percent' for Game 1

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard declared himself healthy and ready to go for their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round takes place Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN) at Madison Square Garden.

Brassard participated in practice with the Rangers on Wednesday and left early. His status came into question Tuesday when he left New York's skate with a back injury.

"I felt good today. I could have skated for the whole practice, it was just for precautions," Brassard said. "I feel 100 percent for tomorrow."

Brassard's loss could have been a big one for the Rangers. The center enjoyed a successful first full season with New York, establishing a career high of 18 goals. His 45 points were two short of his career-high 47 with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010-11. He also was a big part of New York's run to the Eastern Conference Semifinals last season, leading the Rangers with 12 points in 12 games.

The Quebec native said the injury had been lingering with him through the final days of the regular season.

"You go through a season and you battle injuries. Everyone does. It's a long season," Brassard said. "Three days ago I was not 100 percent, but in the last two days I'm 100 percent. That's what counts."

Forward Chris Kreider did not practice Wednesday and remains out indefinitely. He has not played since having hand surgery March 28. He has skated since then, but hasn't been able to use his injured left hand.

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