W2W4: Back On Home Ice, Rangers Host Blue Jackets Monday

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Players To Watch

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Rangers-Michael Del Zotto: Back in the lineup Saturday after being a healthy scratch the previous two games, Del Zotto played a solid two-way game. He contributed an assist and was a plus-two in the 7-1 victory and must have done enough to impress the coaches because on Sunday rookie Conor Allen was returned to the Hartford Wolf Pack, dropping the number of defensemen on the Rangers roster to seven. Consider it a small victory won for the 23 year-old Del Zotto, who is in the midst of a wildly up and down year. Del Zotto has played in 33 of the team's 43 games, missing one due to injury and another nine as a healthy scratch. He has only two goals and six assists after recording a career-high 41 points just two seasons ago. Fighting to regain his confidence, if Del Zotto coud regain his form, or even approach his past performance, it would be a huge lift to the Rangers in the season's second half. Let's see if he can do that.

 

Blue Jackets-Nathan Horton: Columbus' major off-season acquisition, Horton finally made his Blue Jackets debut on Thursday in Phoenix, and crashed the net to score a goal in his first game of the season following shoulder surgery. Though he was held off the scoresheet by the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, Horton was healthy enough to play nearly 17 minutes against the Blues, and in due time he will be averaging that and more as far as ice-time goes. A fiercely competitive power forward with a Stanley Cup championship on his resume from his time in Boston, Horton's next goal will be his 200th, and he has 403 points and 543 penalty minutes in 593 NHL games with the Panthers, Bruins, and Blue Jackets. Still only 28 years old, Horton has produced six 20+-goal seasons, and he has been nearly a point-per-game player in the post-season, with 36 points in 43 career playoff contests.