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Thursday, April 18, 2013
Kreider back, aims to make mark

By Katie Strang

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- It’s been a few weeks since Chris Kreider was last in the locker room for the Rangers. His stall is in a new spot as things got shuffled to accommodate a few new faces -- the result of multiple trade deadline acquisitions.

But for Kreider, much remains the same as he attempts to carve out a place on the Rangers’ roster after being recalled by the team on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old forward, summoned form the minors in the wake of an injury to Brian Boyle, wants to make an impact. He has failed to do that throughout the course of the season, shuttling back and forth from the big club to the minors.

The last time he was sent down, after struggling for a stretch, he was given one particular area to work on with the AHL's Connecticut Whale.

“We talked about check-finishing a little bit,” Kreider said. “When you’re not on the scoreboard, still having an impact, that kind of thing, so I definitely focused on check-finishing, especially on the back-check.

Kreider’s up-and-down season (two goals and one assist in 17 games) follows a spectacular NHL debut last spring, when he was one of the most effective players in the Rangers' run to the Eastern Conference finals.

He doesn't want to get lured in by the nostalgia, though.

“You look back and obviously [I] have fond memories, thinking this is around the time when I got this opportunity,” Kreider said. “That being said, this is an entirely different situation and I’m looking forward to trying to seize that opportunity.”

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Injured forward Derek Dorsett skated on his own again Thursday, completing the Rangers' notorious conditioning test of timed, interval lap skating.

Dorsett, acquired from Columbus in a package deal at the trade deadline, is anxious to make his Rangers debut, but wants to make sure his fractured collarbone, sustained in March, is fully healed.

The 26-year-old forward has done some stick-handling but has yet to begin shooting. He expects to start shooting next week, after which he will need to participate in battle drills in practice before he is cleared to return.

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Injured defenseman Marc Staal (eye) also skated Thursday morning, though he is not yet ready to return. There has been no official timetable for Staal, who has been sidelined indefinitely since being struck in the eye with a puck last month.

Staal will travel with the team to Buffalo and continue skating.