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Kessel, Bruins look to rebound vs. Rangers

NY Rangers (29-17-4) at Boston (35-8-6), 1:00 pm EST

BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Eastern Conference-leading Boston Bruins

got Phil Kessel back sooner than expected. Unfortunately, it

wasn't enough last time out.

Kessel and the Bruins will attempt to bounce back from a

disappointing loss when they host the New York Rangers on

Saturday.

The 21-year-old Kessel had a pair of assists as Boston rallied

from a two-goal deficit to take the lead in the third period

Thursday before suffering a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey

Devils.

Kessel's return was an unexpected boost for the Bruins as he was

expected to be sidelined for a month after being diagnosed with

mononucleosis. However, the emerging star missed only six

games, with Boston going 4-1-1 in his absence.

"This was as tough a game as (he) could have walked into,"

Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Kessel, who leads the team

with 24 goals. "Kessel hasn't played in a while and has had

just one practice with us."

The Rangers are coming off a 6-2 setback to the rival Pittsburgh

Penguins on Wednesday.

Nikolai Zherdev and defenseman Marc Staal scored for New York,

which has not lost to a team other than the Penguins since

January 9 - going 5-0-2 over that stretch.

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