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McDonagh feeling better, could play Thursday

Feb 27, 2013, 1:24 PM EDT

Ryan McDonagh Getty Images

Losers of four straight, including last night’s 4-3 home defeat to Winnipeg, the New York Rangers got some potentially good news today when injured defenseman Ryan McDonagh practiced and said afterwards that he was feeling better than expected.

ESPN’s Katie Strang thinks it “sure sounds” like McDonagh will play tomorrow when the Rangers host Tampa Bay.

McDonagh was hit from behind into the boards by Montreal’s Max Pacioretty on Saturday and missed the Jets game as a result. The 23-year-old is third on the team in average ice time (23:45).

In other New York injury news, forward Rick Nash (undisclosed) and defenseman Michael Del Zotto (lower body) skated today, but both will reportedly wait until tomorrow to decide if they can suit up against the Lightning (per The Record’s Andrew Gross).

Related: ‘I’m not a doctor’ — Nash can’t say if he has a concussion

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