Michael Del Zotto returns to lineup, scores against Canucks

Michael Del Zotto skates with the puck during Michael Del Zotto skates with the puck during a game against the Vancouver Canucks. (Nov. 30, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch in five of the previous eight games, and his return was a success.

"In the first period, you could tell I was fighting it a little bit, a little bit nervous trying to get game speed back," said Del Zotto, who scored his second goal of the season from the left circle on a second-period power play. "I'm glad it clicked."

Coach Alain Vigneault, who had been critical of Del Zotto, was pleased by his 17:43 of ice time. "It was probably not easy for him. For the most part, he carried himself very well," Vigneault said.

Del Zotto replaced John Moore, a healthy scratch for the first time, and was fortunate that he wasn't carried off after being knocked to the ice by Tom Sestito's shoulder-to-cheek blow at 2:51 of the third period. After gloving down a high, floating puck, he was checked by Zack Kassian, then belted by Sestito. No call was made on Sestito. Kassian was penalized for roughing.

Vigneault didn't see it, "but Scott and Ulfie [assistants Arniel and Samuelsson] said it was a direct shot to the head," he said. Del Zotto returned on his next shift.

Justin Falk (four hits in 17:43) initially tried to get involved with Kassian and Sestito but was separated, and Derek Dorsett fought the larger Sestito at 12:36 of the third period. "Derek is the ultimate team guy," Vigneault said.

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Dorsett dressed after missing two games with a sprained wrist.

Taylor Pyatt sat after playing two straight. He had missed eight games following a concussion.

Blue notes

Cam Talbot is the first Rangers goaltender to win six straight decisions in his first year since Jim Henry won seven in a row in 1941-42 . . . Rick Nash (six points in his last six games) is two points shy of 600 for his career . . . Besides Del Zotto, three defensemen had points: Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman and Ryan McDonagh had assists.Vigneault has decided on his goalie against Winnipeg on Monday but would not reveal his decision.

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