GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Chris Drury makes his return Wednesday in Pittsburgh, a noteworthy event for the Rangers captain. He's missed all but one period of this season with a left index finger broken twice, in different places.
Among the games he's missed are the two other Rangers-Penguins matchups: An overtime win for the Rangers in Pittsburgh a month ago that featured six Penguins power plays to none for the Rangers, plus Henrik Lundqvist heaving his broken goaltender's stick across the ice; and then, two weeks later, the Penguins' win with captain Sidney Crosby kicking Ryan Callahan's skates out from under him, prompting a war of words in the media between Brandon Dubinsky and Crosby.
But the Rangers know they can't get sucked into worrying about chippy plays or officiating. The Penguins have been hot, but their 12-game winning streak was broken in Philadelphia last night with the Flyers winning, 3-2.
"It was a play in a game," Callahan said. "It's in the past. We can't make a big deal out of that stuff. They're too good a team to worry about that."
Drury will start the game on the fourth line with Sean Avery and either Todd White or Erik Christensen; the Rangers captain also will get some penalty-killing work, but he's returning to a lineup that has its forward lines clicking pretty well of late, and John Tortorella isn't looking to shake up the mix.
"Chris is going to play. But we're not looking to change anything," Tortorella said. "Dru will get his time. For us to get where we want to be, Dru has to be a big part of it. But I like what we're doing here and I'm not looking to make changes."
The Rangers are looking to change some aspects of their game from the 3-1 loss to the Penguins at the Garden on Nov. 29. Crosby generated a bushel of odd-man rushes as the Rangers forgot to stay disciplined on the backcheck.
"We need to be a well-positioned team," Tortorella said. "We can't worry about any of that other stuff. We've got enough to worry about with this Pittsburgh team."