COLUMBUS, Ohio - Don't count on the Norwegian Hobbit marching out of Hartford anytime soon.

Mats Zuccarello, who has 10 goals and eight assists in 27 games for the AHL Whale, isn't ready yet, according to Rangers brass, although they are "happy with his progress."

The diminutive winger lit up the Swedish league last season. "They're happy with his progress, but he still has a ways to go," John Tortorella said.

Doing his homework

Michael Del Zotto returned after writing a four-page report by hand on the power play and defense while watching the team in Ottawa as a healthy scratch. The third pairing on defense was Matt Gilroy and Mike Sauer.

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Prust paying dividends

Torts on Brandon Prust, who is 3-3-6 in the last 10 although his left shoulder is not 100 percent: "He's kinda flown under the radar. He has made plays. He protects the puck well. It surprised me when the year started."

Todd White was in for enforcer Derek Boogaard, who is in New York having his sprained right shoulder examined . . . Chris Drury (broken finger), who has been out for all but one game this season, skated again and will have an X-ray Sunday to determine whether he'll be cleared for full practices . . . Vinny Prospal (knee surgery Oct. 18) skated with the team for the second time in three days.

Sestito gets chance

With Blue Jackets forward Jared Boll injured, 23-year-old Tom Sestito (6-5, 228) was called up from Springfield. Coach Scott Arniel said he expects the left wing to bring "a physical presence . . . he was right there on the bubble in training camp . . . He'll get a chance to be in front on power plays and on one of the top lines."