The Rangers are back in town and back in action at the Garden tonight, taking on the Phoenix Coyotes. Here are three factors to watch for when the puck drops.
Replacing Ryan Callahan
The Rangers (and my fantasy team) will be without Callahan for about six weeks after the RW broke his hand Wednesday. Todd White, a healthy scratch against the Pens, will rejoin the lineup in his absence. That could be only for the short term if the Rangers decide to call up one of their prospects from Hartford. But tonight White will get a sweater and try to notch his first point since Nov. 5. He could probably help his cause even more if he can pick up some of the physical play the Rangers will miss with Callahan -- by far the Rangers' leader in hits -- on the shelf.
Chris Drury's return was a welcome one Wednesday, particularly for his skills in the faceoff circle. As Donnie Pucks hit on earlier, the Rangers have been dreadful (which is probably an understatement) when it comes to draws. No Ranger is currently over 50 percent in the circle, and Derek Stepan sits below 40 percent at 37.6. It's not unusual for rookies to struggle at faceoffs. It's a skill that always seems to improve with age, but it's still a problem the Rangers would like to solve sooner rather than later. Drury gives them that solution. Expect him to take the majority of important draws Thursday night.
Frolov Finally Heating Up?
Alexander Frolov has points in two straight games, which wouldn't be particularly notable if the didn't end a 10-game drought. His goal against Pittsburgh was interesting because he scored it by going hard to the net, something he hasn't exactly done on a regular basis. The Rangers would certainly welcome some additional scoring, particularly with Callahan out of commission.