W2W4: Time For Talking Is Over As Rangers Host Predators

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Players To Watch

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Rangers-Michael Del Zotto: The Rangers 23 year-old defenseman jumped straight from the press box as a healthy scratch to the team's second defense pairing Sunday night and handled himself quite well. With Marc Staal sidelined due to an injury suffered Saturday night, Del Zotto was slotted in next to Anton Stralman Sunday and played 20:38, the most ice-time he has seen since the season-opening nine-game road trip. While Staal's injury is extremely unfortunate for the player and the team, it might just be the opportunity Del Zotto has been craving to prove himself to the new coaching staff, and if he plays well it could be the confidence boost he has needed. Del Zotto had been scratched in six of the previous 12 games before being reinserted into the lineup Sunday and there's no doubt his confidence was waning as was Alain Vigneault's confidence in him. But MDZ handled himself well Sunday, assisting on Benoit Pouliot's goal and only being on ice for a screened Washington score, and now he will look to build on that performance Tuesday against Nashville. Del Zotto enters play with two goals and six points in 23 games games played and is 1-1-2 in his last four games.

 

Predators-Mike Fisher: Known in Nasville circles as the husband of Carrie Underwood, Fisher is also one of the Predators top forwards, and has been one of their hottest players as of late. Fisher is tied with Shea Weber for the team lead with seven goals, and has netted four of those goals in his last seven games. A five-time 20+-goal scorer over the course of his career, Fisher has seen his production fall off a bit the past two years after scoring 24 goals with Nashville in 2011-12. Last year he had ten goals in 38 games of the lockout-shortened season and this year he had five points in his first six games before drying up until his recent hot run. The Rangers will need to keep an eye on him Tuesday, though, and also be aware of his strong two-way in all three zones of the ice.