Rick Nash still out and Rangers won't say why

Rick Nash (61) shoots the puck past Tampa

Rick Nash (61) shoots the puck past Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon (32) to score during the third period of a game in Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2013) (Credit: AP)

MONTREAL -- All NHL teams have injury concerns in this shortened season, and the Rangers are not exempt.

Elite power forward Rick Nash, who remained behind when the Rangers began a two-game, four-night road trip on Wednesday, will not join his teammates for their game against the Canadiens Saturday night, the club said.

It will be the third consecutive game that Nash (three goals, nine assists) will miss. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto also could be sidelined for the game.

The team refuses to disclose the nature of Nash's injury, leading to growing speculation that it is related to a blow to the head he received from the Bruins' Milan Lucic in Boston on Feb. 12 or a recurrence of groin or shoulder problems. Nash finished that game and also played against the Islanders on Feb. 14 and the Capitals on Feb. 17.

Nash, who came to the Rangers in a blockbuster trade with Columbus last summer, has created much-needed offensive chances, if not as many goals as initially hoped.

Del Zotto appeared to injure his right hip on a check from Ottawa's Marc Methot halfway through the third period of Ottawa's 3-2 shootout win on Thursday. Del Zotto skated to the bench, then went to the trainer's room. He did not return and was seen limping afterward.

Del Zotto, who has played in all 16 games, missed four games with a hip injury last season.

Steve Eminger was recalled and could play if Del Zotto cannot. Forward Darroll Powe suffered a concussion against Washington and is out. Arron Asham missed Wednesday's practice and Thursday's game with reported stiffness in his back.

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