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Zuccarello expected back for Rangers

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New York Rangers will try to snap a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) when they face the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

Forward Mats Zuccarello is expected to return to the New York lineup after sustaining a broken hand during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He has missed the first four games since the Rangers returned from the break.

Forward Martin St. Louis will play his second game for the Rangers, who did not skate Friday morning. He recorded three shots in his debut Tuesday, playing on a line with Carl Hagelin and Brad Richards.

The Hurricanes come off a 3-2 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, snapping a five-game losing streak.

"We want to play a fast game here [Friday] and build off the game against San Jose, which is arguably our best game of the year," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "I thought our compete level was real high. We put pucks in an area where we were able to retrieve them and we were able to spend a lot of time in the offensive zone."

Forward Andrei Loktionov will make his Carolina debut after being acquired from the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday in a trade for Tuomo Ruutu. Loktionov had four goals and 12 points in 48 games with the Devils.

"He gives us a play-making, half-wall guy that we were looking for [on the power play]," Muller said. "He's creative and offensive."

Here are the projected lineups for the Rangers and the Hurricanes:


Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis

Mats Zuccarello - Derick Brassard - Benoit Pouliot

Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Daniel Carcillo

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Scratched: Derek Dorsett, Raphael Diaz, Justin Falk


Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Elias Lindholm

Jiri Tlusty - Jordan Staal - Alexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Patrick Dwyer

Drayson Bowman - Andrei Loktionov - Manny Malhotra

Andrej Sekera - John-Michael Liles

Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore

Jay Harrison - Ryan Murphy

Anton Khudobin

Cam Ward

Scratched: Radek Dvorak, Mike Komisarek

Injured: Justin Faulk (upper body)

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