Rich Nash back in Rangers lineup

NEW YORK -- Rick Nash returned for the New York Rangers Thursday night as they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden.

Nash has missed the past four games with an undisclosed injury, believed to be a concussion.

That's not the only good news for the Rangers, either.

Help is on the way for their injury-riddled back end, as both defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto returned to the lineup as well.

McDonagh missed Tuesday's match against Winnipeg after being forced from the team's 3-0 shutout loss to the Canadiens on Saturday following a hard hit from Montreal's Max Pacioretty. Del Zotto has missed the past two games.

The Rangers are 0-3-1 since Nash has been sidelined.

The only players out on Thursday were forward Arron Asham, who missed his fourth straight game, and defenseman Matt Gilroy, who sat out because of illness.

New York assigned young forward Chris Kreider, who has been in and out of the lineup, to Connecticut of the AHL on Thursday to make room on the roster. Fellow forwards Christian Thomas and Brandon Mashinter were sent down to Connecticut earlier this week.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.