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Leetch Makes 2003-04 Blueshirt Debut in OT Loss

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

After missing the entire pre-season and the first nine games of the regular season with a bruised left ankle he suffered during a late summer workout, Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch was back in his familiar spot of the blueline as the New York hosted the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Leetch, who logged 21:17 of ice time and registered three shots on goal in his return, had been skating with the team since Tuesday and finally felt ready to return.

"It's just like I expected," said Leetch after the Rangers dropped a 3-2 OT decision to Colorado. "It's a fast game when you're out there playing. Our forwards are playing better and there is a lot more help in our zone. Once I got into the flow, I felt pretty good."

"Overall, I felt pretty good," Leetch added. "The ice was not that great and that made it a little more difficult to try and work with the puck. I was trying to get it off my stick there a few times, but I felt pretty good."

Leetch will monitor the ankle and after undergoing the same injury last season, and will take a wait-and-see approach to determine how the injury is healing.

"I think you just have to keep listening to your body to see how it feels and continue to monitor it."
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