Del Zotto, Grachev join Rangers

Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto waits for a Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto waits for a face against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden. (Oct. 18, 2010) Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

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ATLANTA - Michael Del Zotto and Evgeny Grachev are the latest reinforcements for the banged-up Rangers. The two will practice Monday in case they are needed against the Capitals that night.

Defenseman Del Zotto, 21, who made the All-Rookie team last season, was sent to the AHL to work on his overall game after going 2-7-9 in 35 games this season. He had seven assists in eight games with the Connecticut Whale.

Grachev, 20, has been coming on. The 6-4 Russian forward, still considered one of the team's top prospects, had a hat trick Saturday night against Springfield and a two-goal game last week. He has 12 goals in 40 games, and reports are that he has been much more engaged, which had been the flaw in his game. He was pointless in six NHL games in late October and early November.

 

Line with drive

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The Wojtek Wolski-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello trio totaled 12 of the 31 shots. "That's been a good line,'' coach John Tortorella said. "I look at Wooly, I see his second effort, I see his puck battles. Step gets nailed by [Nik] Antropov, he stepped right up, stood right in there, didn't miss a shift.''

Stepan assisted on Wolski's goal early in the second period. Marian Gaborik, on the other hand, had two shots in 20:24 and was pointless for the second straight game.

 

Blue notes

C Kris Newbury received his first assist as a Ranger on Brian Boyle's tying goal in the third period . . . Henrik Lundqvist finished with 20 saves; Ondrej Pavelec had 29 . . . Marc Staal's left shoulder was wrapped after the game, but he and Tortorella said he will play Monday . . . Dustin Byfuglien had a game-high seven shots for the Thrashers but has not recorded a point in eight games.

 

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