Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers during action against...

Ryan Callahan of the New York Rangers during action against the Winnipeg Jets. (Jan. 24, 2012) Credit: Errol Anderson

The Rangers were down two regulars again Sunday night, even though Brandon Dubinsky returned to the lineup after missing all but 3:30 of the previous three games with sinus and hand problems. "I'm feeling pretty good, breathing better," said Dubinsky, who wasn't wearing a protective shield.

Ryan Callahan was a no-show at the morning skate, which led to the call-up of Mats Zuccarello. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto also was scratched with a bruised right hip.

Zuccarello, who had 12 goals and 14 assists in 37 games for the Connecticut Whale, said he was a little disappointed at not being called up earlier. "Everybody wants to be here," he said before the game, adding that lately he has been "trying to focus more on defensive play. I don't think I'm that bad; I'm usually a plus guy. But I'm not a coach or a GM." With the Whale, he was a plus-5.

Zuccarello is in the final season of a two-year, $3.5-million contract that he signed after starring in the Swedish Elite League.

John Tortorella planned to play Zuccarello, who was pointless in the first three games of the season before being sent down, on the power play and in the shootout, if warranted. Zuccarello had five power-play goals for the Whale and was 4-for-4 in shootouts. He is 5-for-9 in the NHL in shootouts.

It was the third time in the past six games that Del Zotto, who apparently aggravated his injury in Ottawa, was held out.

Callahan, out of the lineup for three straight games, then in for three in a row -- he played 21:52 against the Blackhawks on Friday night -- continues to wear a walking boot off ice in an attempt to reduce the swelling after blocking Ilya Kovalchuk's shot Feb. 27.

Blue notes

The Rangers' prospects were given an overall 'B' grade in the annual Future Watch issue of The Hockey News, which is based on interviews with scouts and player-development personnel. First-round picks Chris Kreider (Boston College), Tim Erixon (AHL) and J.T. Miller (OHL, Plymouth Whalers) were in the top 75 . . . Defenseman Jeff Woywitka was scratched for the fifth consecutive game.

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