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Clowe not ruling out Game 2 return for Rangers

by Dan Rosen

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers forward Ryane Clowe was back on the ice Friday for the first time since April 25, when he was injured in a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Clowe said there is a possibility he could play in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals on Saturday at Verizon Center (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, RDS, TSN).

Washington leads the best-of-7 series 1-0 after a 3-1 win in Game 1 on Thursday.

"I'm not going to rule out [Saturday]," said Clowe, who would not disclose the nature of his injury. "It's tough to watch this time of year, the playoffs. It's the time of year in hockey I look forward to the most, so it was hard to watch [Thursday]. But I'll discuss it with the trainers and the proper people today and let them know how I felt out there. So we'll see."

Clowe said the key will be determining if he can withstand being hit. He wore a white non-contact jersey in practice Friday, so if he plays Saturday it will be the first time he gives or takes contact since the game against the Hurricanes.

"Obviously that's something that we've got to discuss, because I'm not going to go out there and play if I can't take a hit at this time of year," Clowe said. "So if I'm playing, I can take a hit, that's for sure."

He doesn't think conditioning will be an issue if he gets back into the lineup because he'll have an extra boost of adrenaline to carry him through the game.

"I feel like at this time of year I can jump in any time," he said. "We played a lot of hockey up to this point and it's kind of like my first game in New York [after the trade from the San Jose Sharks], I didn't really have any sleep, but you run on adrenaline to get you back into it. So I think conditioning isn't that big of a factor."

Rangers coach John Tortorella agreed that conditioning wouldn't be a factor at this time of the year because of the adrenaline rush a player gets.

"If I think a player is going to help us, he's going to play," Tortorella said.

Defenseman Marc Staal (eye) and forwards Derek Dorsett (clavicle) and Brian Boyle (knee) practiced Friday. Dorsett was in a regular blue jersey like the rest of the forwards. He had been wearing a yellow non-contact sweater in practice.

None of the three spoke to the media, and Tortorella did not provide an update on their statuses.


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