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Clowe Hopeful, Nash Skates

About 11 Rangers took part in Wednesday morning’s optional skate at Madison Square Garden prior to Game 4 later tonight. Among those was forward Ryane Clowe, who seemed to be as optimistic as ever he’d return to the lineup tonight.

“Hopefully I play. That’s what I want,” Clowe said after the skate. “We’ll see … If I feel good enough to play, I’ll play. We’ll have to see how it goes.”

Clowe said he’s a “game-time decision,” and that he felt “pretty good” after taking contact in practice yesterday for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury on April 25 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

If he does dress, Clowe said he doesn’t expect there to be much rust in terms of adjusting to game speed or playing physically.

“That stuff is going to come back pretty quick,” he said. “I haven’t skated much and I’ve been out a little while here, but I don’t think there’s any concerns about jumping back in. Obviously you’ve got to be able to do what you have to do and play the game you need to play to come back. I’m close to coming back, I think, and hopefully it’s tonight.”

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Forward Rick Nash took part in the team’s morning skate after being given a maintenance day off from practice yesterday.

“I feel good,” Nash said after the morning skate. He said there were no ill effects from slamming his knee against the boards after he attempted a check on Washington’s Mike Green in the final seconds of the second period in Game 3.

“No, I felt good in the third. I felt fine,” he said.

Forward Darroll Powe did not skate and did not speak to the media following the session. Powe left Game 3 in the first period after being elbowed by Capitals forward Joel Ward.

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The Rangers have out-hit the Capitals in all three games thus far this series, including 58 hits in Game 2. Forward Brian Boyle expects that to continue in Game 4.

“It’s just playoff hockey,” Boyle said. “I think the more battles you win, the more success you’ll have.”

While physicality is important, Boyle said the team must stay disciplined against a team with as good a power play as the Capitals’.

“You don’t want to be killing [penalties],” he said. “You win more of those battles, you have the puck more and hopefully you can draw more of those penalties.”

Are you hopeful Clowe skates in Game 4? Tell us about it in the comments below.

May 8 - 4:02pm
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