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Rangers’ Ryan Callahan, Mike Del Zotto still banged up

Ryan Callahan, Michael Del Zotto

New York Rangers right wing Ryan Callahan (24), right, celebrates his goal with teammate Michael Del Zotto (4) in a game against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, in Edmonton, Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jimmy Jeong)


After losing three games in a row and going 1-3-1 in their last five games, Brandon Dubinsky said that the New York Rangers “stopped the bleeding” with a 4-3 OT win against the New York Islanders on Sunday. Unfortunately, some of their wounds are still showing.

Heart-and-soul captain Ryan Callahan (foot) and offensive blueliner Michael Del Zotto (hip) missed practice today, raising concern that both players won’t be available for tomorrow’s match against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Naturally every point matters, but you’d be naive to say that Tuesday’s contest is more important than a match that could alter the outlook of the Atlantic Division on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently just four points behind the Rangers and the two teams will face off on March 15.

Not having Callahan’s versatile, hard-nosed game and MDZ’s offensive prowess could make for some nervous times for a team that once seemed almost predestined for the Atlantic crown.