Although execution on the ice plays a huge role in crafting a winning streak - and the Rangers haven't forged a meaningful one since early October - Chris Drury said Sunday: "A lot of it is a mind-set; it was a good win in Buffalo, but you've got to follow it, be desperate to win."

After sitting out five games recovering from a concussion suffered Nov. 7 in Calgary, the center said watching games taught him something about his own play. "I think when I get too much in a hurry, I just try to do too much," he said, "especially in the defensive zone. I try to help out and miss my coverage."

Instead, he is trying to remain intense but not overreact.

Drury, who remains symptom-free, had three assists in the five games entering last night and is averaging almost 20 minutes of ice time while playing five-on-five, the penalty kill and the power play.

Making adjustments

With a slight change in neutral-zone coverage, the Rangers seem to be counterpunching more rather than strictly adhering to coach John Tortorella's pressure-forecheck system to develop offense.

"It's a little less pressure," he said Sunday. "I'm not trying to take away our thought as far as trying to forecheck, but when you're not scoring regularly, you have to do the other things better."

Tortorella said the Rangers had 14 scoring chances in Buffalo, but he wants more crease-crashing and screening of goaltenders.

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Dubinsky on the mend

C Brandon Dubinsky, out since Nov. 7 with a broken hand, continues to improve. He skated Sunday with injured players Wade Redden and Donald Brashear. "I'm already thinking about line combinations when Dubi comes back," Tortorella said . . . G Steve Valiquette allowed five goals in each of his first two games in Hartford and was pulled in both.