Michael Del Zotto, Kris Newbury, Chad Kolarik, Evgeny Grachev and Brodie Dupont were returned to Hartford to play two weekend games and one or two of them could be called back next week, coach John Tortorella said, depending on need.
“It isn’t a negative thing on any of them,” said coach John Tortorella. “It’s been rewarding to see them play. I think they’ll help this club,” perhaps in the short run or long run, he said. “They need to go play.”
Vinny Prospal, out since Oct. 18 knee surgery, and Ryan Callahan (broken hand) were activated from injured reserve.
“It’s going to be a good feeling to see a lot of guys back when we start again,” said Henrik Lundqvist. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job. We’ve been fighting a lot and trying to get points every night.”
No surprise but Mats Zuccarello, the Norwegian wizard who had three assists, is staying put.
“He has brought a lot to the club and continues to improve,” Tortorella said. “The thing I love about him is that he thinks he belongs here, he knows he’s a good player. That’s a pretty refreshing attitude for a guy coming here from another country. He’s played a lot of hockey for us; he’s earned the break here.” Zuccarello has 11 points since joining the team on Dec. 23.
More Torts: “You get greedy. I thought we were gonna squeeze out a point… It would’ve been nice if we were 4-1 instead of 3-2, but we didn’t give, we talked about that between the 2nd and third period; hopefully that keeps on resonating.”
The Rangers outshot Florida 35-17 and Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said: “There have been a few nights where we’ve left the building having outplayed the opponent and left with no points. We were on the other end of that.”
Marian Gaborik: “We have to get rest and make sure we come back ready to play. We can kind of cool down a bit and get some guys back from injuries. The standing are very tight. ”
Marc Staal, who logged 26:02, on the All-Star break: “I haven’t seen family since the summer so it will be nice to have a good weekend with them.”
Wojtek Wolski has three goals and four assists in nine games as a Ranger….Thru 52 games, the Rangers have five more wins and six more points than last season, and 15 fewer goals against….It was only the second time in 13 games that Lundqvist has allowed more than three goals….Matt Gilroy had five shots…