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Dubinsky's return is imminent

Brandon Dubinsky, out with a broken right hand since Nov. 7, might return Monday against the Atlanta Thrashers, or a few days later in one of the games in the home-and-home against the Islanders.

"He's close . . . he's chomping at the bit," said Rangers coach John Tortorella, who did not rule out the center's comeback in tomorrow's game. "You never know. I can't guarantee it."

Dubinsky, 23, who recently has practiced with a plastic shield to protect his hand, has said his conditioning level is very good. Saturday morning, he went through drills for assistant coach Mike Sullivan.

When he returns, Dubinsky (3-7-10, plus-7) is expected to center the No. 1 or No. 2 line.

Drury still a factor

Chris Drury hasn't scored in seven games since recovering from a concussion, but he is an integral part of the penalty kill.

Drury broke his hand in the second-to-last game of the regular season last spring after he blocked a shot, and his effectiveness taking faceoffs and shooting in the playoff loss to the Capitals was compromised.

But his style hasn't changed. Tortorella says no one is better than Drury in getting into the lanes. At five feet away from the shooter, the shots aren't rising, but Drury "gets hit up here," he said, motioning to the waist and above. "You've got to have some -- to do that. Some guys are flamingo-ing [lifting one skate to avoid getting hit] at five feet."

Lisin, Voros scratched

Enver Lisin and Aaron Voros were healthy scratches. "We're not going to force Lisin in there," Tortorella said of the Russian forward, who hasn't played in four of the last six games and has no goals in his last 15. "We still need to develop him." Voros has sat for four games . . . Starting Monday, the Rangers have 10 games left before the halfway point (41 games) of the season. They face the Islanders and Hurricanes three times each.

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