PITTSBURGH---Marian Gaborik, who has 21 stitches in his right thigh from the cut sustained Tuesday by Henrik Lundqvist's skate in a practice collision, will skate in warmups before tonight's game against the Penguins, but the Rangers' leading scorer didn't sound optimistic.

                "It's going to be more like a game-time decision," Gaborik said after skating for the first time since the incident. "I thought I was going to feel better...I felt a little bit better once I got going out there, but I don't have a lot of power in the leg or strength...when I try to push off, I feel a lot of pain there, no power, no strength, we'll just have to see."

                The swelling, he said, went down, "but when I put pressure on it...it's different when you're skating,  you have to push to get going."  Gaborik said that he would have to feel better in warmups to play, but  didn't think there's "concern about the stitches getting broken."

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               As expected, Donald Brashear skated in the optional and cleared waivers at noon. He won't play tonight, according to John Tortorella, but it's uncertain whether he will now be sent to Hartford to give the Rangers some cap room. "I'd better leave it alone," said Tortorella.

 

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             Tortorella offered a positive assessment of defenseman Corey Potter, who played against the Predators, then was returned to Hartford:

             "He only played eight on nine minutes, joined the rush, had a great (scoring) chance." said Tortorella. "He's a right-handed defenseman, so we have to keep an eye on him. I thought he handled himself well. He looked thicker to me than the last time I saw him (in training camp). For some reason, he just looked big to me, I thought he was mobile and he was trying to make a difference. I'm sure he wanted more ice time, and may get it here eventually along the way."

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