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After 17-game absence, Nash returns to Rangers lineup tonight

Nov 19, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT

Rick Nash #61 of the New York Rangers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on January 20, 2013 in New York City. The Penguins defeated the Rangers 6-3. Getty Images

Rick Nash is back.

That was the word out of New York on Tuesday as the Rangers announced that Nash, out for the past 17 contests with a concussion, would be in the lineup for tonight’s tilt against the Bruins at MSG.

Concussed in the Rangers’ third game of the season on a high hit from Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart, Nash has been sidelined as his team has performed a dramatic in-season turnaround.

The Rangers were 3-7-0 following a 2-0 loss to Montreal on Oct. 28 and appeared in disarray. Since then, though, the club has gone 7-3-0… but has struggled finding the back of the net.

New York has just three goals in its last three games and was shut out 1-0 by Los Angeles on Sunday. This is where Nash’s presence will give the Rangers perhaps the biggest boost — last year, he led the team in goals (21) and has scored 30-plus seven times.

As for storylines for tonight, it’s definitely worth noting Nash will be taking on the same Bruins team that concussed him last season. Boston’s Milan Lucic hit Nash during a game last February, one that forced the Rangers star to miss four games.

There’s also the Michael Del Zotto healthy scratch watch. According to the New York Daily News, he’s going to be held out of the lineup for the third straight game.

Related: NHL on NBCSN: Will Rangers’ Nash return to face Boston?

  1. stakex - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    This will actually be the third strait game in which Del Zotto will be a healthy scratch as he missed both Rangers games this weekend as well. You could argue that AV simply doesn’t want to mess with a lineup that’s only given up one goal in the last two games, but personally I think three strait games is more then a wakeup call. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded in the very near future. I still think that would be a mistake since he’s young and has a lot of talent, but he’s clearly out of favor in NY right now and the Rangers have a bit of defensive depth.

    Good to see Nash back though. He might not be 100%, but he can only help with as anemic the Rangers offense has been.

    • barkar942 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      I disagree, stakex. DelZ has shown flashes of brilliance, and lots of lack of luster play.
      I equate him to Mike Green, but Green has a better shot. I personally don’t care much for either. I think the Rangers would be better suited using him for trade bait, even if it is only a high draft pick. Get value while you can and clear some cap space.
      And hopefully, Nash will help in the scoring department, but even if he doesn’t score, usually he is opening up ice for line mates while he is being double covered.

      • lowenni - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        Similar ups-and-downs like Mike Green, but nobody is going to scratch Green when he’s a former 70-point, 30-goal D-Man. Del Zotto is not on Green’s level now and probably never will be

    • chip56 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      I wonder if they’re working on a deal that involves MdZ and are keeping him out for that reason.

  2. fishtender41 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    I hope brassard gets moved to a line with some support for him. The guy has tremendous vision. He is a playmaker who can also score. Being put on a checking line is a waste of his talent.

    • xdj511 - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Brassard was actually put in a top six role early in the season and did nothing with it. Eventually they moved Richards back to center and bumped Brassard to the third line. You have to hope for more from, well, just about everybody right now.

  3. chip56 - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    You figure that Nash will go with Stepan and Callahan, Krieder, Hagelin, Richards and Kreider, Zuc with Brassard and move Boyle to the wing and then Pouliot, Moore and Dorsett on the fourth line?

  4. bleedrangerblue - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Somebody score please! LGR!!!

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