DETROIT - Left wing Chris Kreider, perhaps the fastest skater on the Rangers, is learning to ease off the throttle. It was something he tried to alter during his stay in Hartford before he was recalled last Monday.

"I'm slowing my skating down a little bit . . . trying not to get too far ahead of the play, timing plays a little bit better,'' said Kreider, 22, who picked up his first point, an assist on Brad Richards' goal, in Philadelphia. In early preseason games, he said, "I was just going a million miles per hour every shift; instead of trying to do A, B and C, just try to focus on A."

Forwards not blessed with such speed also need to adjust to succeed, Alain Vigneault said. "We need our centermen to help us out a little bit. They're a big part of defensive hockey and offensive hockey. I'm hoping Step [Derek Stepan] and Brass [Derick Brassard], especially those two, they're supposed to be our offensive skill. They need to start showing some of that."

 

Zuccarello back in

Mats Zuccarello dressed after being a healthy scratch in Philadelphia. He scored early in the third period Saturday night to tie it 2-2. Brandon Mashinter -- who had a shiner, cuts and swelling near his left eye but no vision problems after a fight with Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds -- and Justin Falk were healthy scratches.

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Hagelin back soon

Carl Hagelin (offseason shoulder surgery) hopes he can make his season debut on Long Island on Tuesday night. "It's either the 29th, 31st [Sabres] or the 3rd [Hurricanes],'' said Hagelin, who has been taking contact regularly. He will miss Monday night's home opener against Montreal but then is eligible to come off long-term injured reserve.