J.T. Miller, who was demoted to the fourth line during the Rangers' 5-1 defeat of the Hurricanes on Saturday, was a healthy scratch against the Ducks.
Miller, who declined to talk, had a "tough game" against Carolina, said Alain Vigneault, who sat Miller over Brandon Mashinter with Ryan Callahan returning after missing seven games with a broken thumb. Mashinter played four shifts for a total of 2:50 and was not a factor. Since being recalled from Hartford on Oct. 15, the 20-year-old winger has no goals and one assist in nine games.
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The Rangers are 1-5-0 against the Western Conference. "Last time we played them [the Ducks], they embarrassed us a little bit," Henrik Lundqvist said.
"We wanted to come back and play a strong game, and we did for 55 minutes," said Michael Del Zotto, who put a loose puck through four or five bodies. "It was 2-1, not 6-0, so of course it was better."
Three minutes into the second period, Derek Stepan was knocked down and shaken up by an arm to the face from Bryan Allen, who was not penalized, and Vigneault was livid on the bench. The trio of Stepan, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, which posted nine points against the Hurricanes, didn't get untracked, with five shots overall . . . The Rangers have held opponents to two goals or fewer in seven straight games . . . Carl Hagelin, who scored twice Saturday, had an assist, along with Callahan, on Del Zotto's goal . . . Hurricanes D Ryan Murphy was fined $2,213.68 for a clipping minor on Derek Dorsett on Saturday.