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Captain Drury wings it for Rangers

The Islanders' P.A. Parenteau, right, and the Rangers'

The Islanders' P.A. Parenteau, right, and the Rangers' Chris Drury chase a puck in the first period. (Dec. 27, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Meet Chris Drury, center-turned-hybrid wing. Or as Rangers coach John Tortorella describes it, "a utility guy for me."

Team captain Drury, who Monday night played his fifth game since returning from a broken left index finger, was on right wing with center Artem Anisimov and Alex Frolov. "I want to keep [Derek] Stepan, Artie and Brian Boyle, three young centers, in their positions, so he's going to be playing wing," Tortorella said. "I'm using him in all situations, very similar to what it was last year. He's done a really good job on faceoffs, as we've needed."

Drury had two assists in the four games prior to last night and was credited with one on Matt Gilroy's goal in the first.

Gilroy makes most of time

Gilroy played in consecutive games for the second time this month, as Michael Del Zotto was a healthy scratch. Tortorella said he liked the performance of the Long Island native against Tampa, when he played 14:28 and registered an assist. "He just seemed to have confidence in his pinching and kept offensive plays alive," he said. "He hasn't played a real bad game. When he sits we just feel the other six are better."

Gilroy rewarded Tortorella's confidence with his first two goals of the season, 44 seconds into the game and at 12:08 of the second period.

Line change

Something changed after warmups. Tortorella had said he was forming a non-traditional fourth line of diminutive Mats Zuccarello, who played in Marian Gaborik's spot against Tampa last Thursday, along with Erik Christensen and Sean Avery.

"I don't consider it a fourth line," said Tortorella. "You've got some talent there. Aves has been forechecking and doing some good things around the puck, and now you're putting another skill player in with Erik. It changes the dynamic of the fourth line."Instead, Zuccarello, in his second NHL game, started on the left side with Gaborik, who returned from missing the Tampa game with a sore groin, and Stepan. Frolov was dropped to the fourth line.

New York Sports