Rangers defender Michael Del Zotto is seen on the ice.

Rangers defender Michael Del Zotto is seen on the ice. Credit: Getty Images

For the first time this season, Michael Del Zotto -- the team's leading scorer on defense last season with 21 points -- was a healthy scratch yesterday.

Del Zotto, 23, who has no points and only seven shots, admitted he was "not happy" with his play, but he did not feel singled out. "That whole West Coast swing [the Rangers were 1-4] wasn't the way we wanted it to go," Del Zotto said.

Justin Falk, who played 14:53 Saturday night with no shots, was in Del Zotto's spot. With a need to create offense, Del Zotto could be back against the Flyers on Thursday in Philadelphia.

"In our first five games, we had one where I was pleased with how our [defense] played. That was the L.A. game [a 3-1 win]," coach Alain Vigneault said. "The three after that, I could've taken any defenseman out. They'd given up 20 goals in three games."

Talbot wins two

Jason Missiaen backed up Henrik Lundqvist as Cam Talbot won Saturday night (3-2) and Friday night (4-3) in Hartford. Talbot impressed Vigneault, who watched Friday's win in person. "They had a real solid third period. They were down by two and tied it,'' Vigneault said. "Talbot had to give his team a chance and make a difference, and he did. He stopped a big five-on-three, a penalty shot in overtime, and in the shootout, he did a good job."

Blue linesThe two top Rangers centers, Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan, managed two shots on Devils goalie Cory Schneider . . . Brian Boyle had four shots and won 9 of 13 faceoffs . . . If the Rangers want to add a right wing, Danny Kristo, leading Hartford in points, might help. He scored his fourth goal yesterday and has seven points in six games . . . Jaromir Jagr had two assists for the Devils, as did Marek Zidlicky.

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