John Tortorella returns to Madison Square Garden
With the Canucks in tow, John Tortorella rolls into Madison Square Garden Saturday for the first time since his four-year reign ended with his abrupt firing and Alain Vigneault's subsequent hiring by the Rangers after seven years in Vancouver.
But the Rangers seemed more concerned with carving out a win rather than sending some message to the former bench boss and his assistant, Mike Sullivan, who alienated some players with their style.
"It's probably a more emotional game for the two coaches," Mats Zuccarello said after a frustrating 3-2 loss to the Bruins Friday that dropped the Rangers to .500 at 13-13. "I'm sure everyone in here is going to do whatever it takes to help our coach get the win. At the same time, it's a big game for us as a team, we need those points."
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh said that "probably the best thing for us is a quick turnaround" and thinking about Tortorella was secondary. "We've got enough on our plate."
Brad Richards, who wasn't happy about being benched by Tortorella in the playoffs against the Bruins last season, was asked whether seeing him on the other bench would be strange. "Well, yeah," Richards said. "You guys will talk about it, but we've got other things to worry about."
Dorsett sidelined by wrist
Derek Dorsett, who injured his wrist against Tampa, was scratched for the second straight game and his availability is unclear. The feisty forward, who leads the team with 92 penalty minutes, did take some shots in warm-ups. "Originally they [the medical staff] didn't think it was a big deal and thought he would play against the Panthers [on Wednesday]," he said. Taylor Pyatt was in Dorsett's fourth-line spot and played 11:27 with no shots and three of the team's 33 hits.
Del Zotto scratched again
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who has fallen out of favor, was a healthy scratch for the fifth time in the last eight games. "It's not that Michael has played badly," said Vigneault, but against the Bruins, "we feel like we're better off with a little more bite." Justin Falk logged 13:34 with two hits, including one that decked Milan Lucic.