Tonight's match with the Hawks marks the start of November, which includes a four-game homestand next week, and somewhere near the end of it---possibly against Edmonton on Nov. 14---Marian Gaborik could be back.

                    The Rangers' top scorer last season, who suffered a separated left shoulder Oct. 15, skated alone today for the first time without equipment (he's been doing daily off-ice conditioning and strength work), took some wrist shots, and after the half-hour spin reported that thing were going very well.

                      “My stickhandling was pretty good, I tried to shoot a couple of times,” said the right wing, who remains sore. “Obviously, it’s not there yet but I like where it’s going. “I’ll take it day by day. I don’t want to say there’s a timetable...I’ve just got to get it pain free…I’m very anxious. I can’t wait to play but I can’t get ahead of myself. It’s definitely tough to watch.”

                     Gaborik, who will miss his eighth game tonight, said his range of motion in the shoulder was improving.



                     Seven skaters, plus Martin Biron, who will be the backup tonight to Henrik Lundqvist, took part in the optional workout. It appears that Derek Boogaard, who remained on the ice working with coaches and Biron, will be scratched. cannot confirm anything, however, until coach John Tortorella meets with the press at 5 p.m.


                 Vinny Prospal, wearing a brace on his surgically repaired right knee, was riding the hand bike. He is still expected to be out another month.


                 More in a  bit...



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