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Mats Zuccarello will play Thursday for Rangers

Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers skates against the

Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers skates against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on Jan. 15, 2015 in Boston. Credit: Getty Images / Maddie Meyer

Winger Mats Zuccarello, who lost his ability to speak for several days when his skull was fractured by a shot in a playoff game on April 24, will play his first game for the injury since the injury in Boston Thursday night.

Zuccarello, who was felled in a playoff game against Pittsburgh, has "no restrictions," coach Alain Vigneault said during training camp.

The 28-year-old Norwegian forward, who scored 15 goals and 49 points in 78 games, has said he hoped to play in several preseason games and would be wearing a helmet with extra protection.

"He's back to his old self, same guy, same personality," said his linemate and close friend Derick Brassard last week. The line of Zuccarello, Brassard and Rick Nash are expected to be rejoined against the Bruins. All three of their names were on a game roster released on Wednesday, an off-day for the team.

Along with those three players, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is scheduled to make his first start of the season in Boston, and defenseman Dan Boyle, who was scheduled to play in the first two exhibition games but was away from the team for personal reasons, is listed on the roster.

The Rangers (1-1) also made their initial camp cuts, trimming their roster by 19 players, assigning 12 to Hartford of the AHL, six to their junior teams and releasing goalie Jason Smith from his tryout. The club is down to 25 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goalies. More cuts are expected Sunday.

New York Sports