Michal Rozsival, who missed his fourth game last night while rehabbing a sprained right shoulder, could return next week.

The defenseman told Newsday that he was strengthening the shoulder and a sore knee in the pool, had not begun weight training, and would not make the two-game trip to Denver and Minneapolis.

"He'll probably skate [Thursday] on his own, when we leave," coach John Tortorella said. "After the weekend, we hope he'll be back with us." The Rangers host Calgary Monday, but Tortorella would prefer to have the veteran (2-6-8 in 15 games), practice, so he is more likely to return during the Tuesday-to-Saturday Florida/Nashville trip. C Chris Drury (broken index finger) has begun skating on his own but is out another two weeks minimum.

Gilroy gains focus


D Matt Gilroy, who played his fourth consecutive game in Rozsival's absence after five straight healthy scratches, believes that blocking out distractions and criticism is helping him improve his all-around game.

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"I'm just going out and playing the way I should be playing," said the North Bellmore native, who had two assists in the last three games before last night. "I don't care what anybody thinks. I can't worry about what I can't control, just what I can control. I'm just playing the way I can."

Gilroy, 26, had a solid start in his rookie season, then faded and finished with four goals and 11 assists in 69 games. He also played five games for Hartford.

Tortorella won't carry a seventh defenseman on the weekend trip. "They're not ready in Hartford," he said. "In an emergency we'll get someone there."

Blue shorts

The Rangers debuted their 85th Anniversary Heritage jerseys, which also will be worn against Original Six teams for Sunday night home games, and wore darker blue helmets and shells with a cream and navy stripe on the pants . . . Center Todd White was scratched.