Rangers’ Gaborik sits out with sore groin; Zuccarello makes NHL debut

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Top-line forward Marian Gaborik is sitting out the New York Rangers’ game against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of groin soreness.

Gaborik felt pain Wednesday and didn’t practice with the team. Rangers coach John Tortorella then ruled him out of Thursday night’s game, New York’s first since a loss at Philadelphia on Saturday.

Gaborik, who has nine goals and 10 assists in 22 games this season, missed 12 games because of a separated left shoulder sustained Oct. 15 in the home opener and sat out one other because of the flu. He has had a history of groin problems.

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Tortorella says he expects Gaborik to return to the lineup for the Rangers’ next game on Monday against the New York Islanders.

Mats Zuccarello, recalled Wednesday from Connecticut of the AHL, is making his NHL debut. The five-foot-seven forward from Norway had 22 points in 20 games before being promoted.

Matt Gilroy is filling in for fellow defenceman Michael Del Zotto, sidelined by the flu.