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Chris Drury hopes to have a stick in his hands on Friday

 This after the Rangers' captain went through a grueling conditioning skate after his teammates' skate this morning with no stick. Friday will mark six weeks since Drury broke the index finger on his left hand for a second time, and he hasn't been cleared to do much except skate since.

This morning was his first spin with teammates -- Michal Rozsival -- under the direction of assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld.

"I've been skating on my own for 10-12 days, so this is good to be back with the guys, traveling," Drury said. "Hopefully I'm closer to coming back than further away."

Drury originally broke the finger blocking a shot in the preseason; the second time was a freak accident, bumping into a teammate. But still, the way Drury plays -- blocking shots, finishing checks, hustling -- is the way his teammates have started to play more consistently the past two weeks.

"They're doing it and seeing the results," he said. "They can see what happens when you play as hard as you can and you're rewarded for it."

Vinny Prospal (knee) is also on the trip, perhaps more because he's still got a home in Tampa than anything else. He is still a ways away from even taking a spin on the ice.

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