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Brandon Dubinsky to start with Richards, Gaborik

One of the key questions of the pre-season has been straight-forward: Who's the No. 1 left wing best suited to skate with the duo of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik?  Wojtek Wolski seemed to have the edge after some spark in camp, but that trio fizzled in some of the exhibition games and Wolski suffred a groin injury.  Coach John Tortorella said he would experiment with wingers, including Brandon Dubinsky and Ruslan Fedotenko, as well as moving center Brian Boyle to the flank, all of which he has done. 

Today at practice in Stockholm, Torts anointed Dubinsky---who flourished last season on a line with C Artem Anisimov and RW Ryan Callahan---as the starter for the season opener Friday against the Kings. I'm not all that surprised, given his size and tenacity. But given the way Torts shuffles lines, even in game, who knows how long this lasts. "I know I'm robbing Peter to pay Paul," Torts told reporters, but he wants to see how effective the trio can be...

Fedotenko was lifted to the second line with Anisimov and Callahan;  Wolski skated on the third trio with Stepan and Zuccarello. The fourth unit was Rupp-Boyle-Prust.

On defense,  Ryan McDonagh, a lefty,  was paired with Dan Girardi in place of Marc Staal.  Michael Sauer, whose sprained shoulder has healed, was partnered with lefty, Michael Del Zotto and veterans Steve Eminger and Brendan Bell, a lefty,  were the third duo. Inserting rookie Stu Bickel, a righty, would mean that Eminger would have to shift to his off-side.

More in a few as the day rolls on in Stockholm and here in New York...

 

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