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Rangers split weekend games; Tortorella returns to MSG; Michael Del Zotto 'OK' after elbow

Today's New York Rangers notes.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, folks, and happy December. It was a busy weekend for the Rangers, who played two games, with each match up featuring its own unique storyline. Entering a new month of Morning Notes, we're going to try a few new things for Mondays, at least Mondays that proceed two-game weekends. So, without further ado, here are your morning notes.

Three stars of the weekend

Number three: Cam Talbot In a game following a disappointing road loss to Boston, Talbot made his home debut, turning back 35 of the 37 shots he faced. There were some above-average saves, but for the most part, Talbot continued to display his calm, collected demeanor in net. Who ya gonna call?

Number two: Chris Kreider I know, how can a player who recorded a hat trick not get the number one star? Well, this has less to do with Kreider's weekend performance (as you'll see) as the Rangers rookie showed what we've seen in glimpses: his scoring prowess. His three goals in Vancouver showcased the range of his offensive skills, from his speed, to his lethal shot, to his precision with deflected shots. It was Kreider's first career mutligoal game, and, obviously, his first hat trick.

Number one: Rick Nash The Rangers top forward is back from a concussion, and showing no lingering affects of the head injury. In fact ,this is the best Nash has ever looked in a Rangers sweater. On Friday in Boston, Nash was the best New York forward, and by a lot, recording the team's second goal on a great individual effort. On Saturday, he had a three-point afternoon, including another goal, giving him four goal in the season games he's played since his return.

What you missed

Nash ties the score in this phenomenal individual effort, beating former Selke Award winner Patrice Bergeron to the front of the net.

Now, on to those pesky notes.

Against John Tortorella, whom was vocal about his displeasure with his play, Chris Kreider showed his former coach what all the hype is about. [Blueshirt Banter]

After recording his first career hat trick, Kreider had nothing negative to say about his former coach. [ESPN NY]

In his first trip back to Madison Square Garden, the outspoken Tortorella went quietly. [NY Post]

...Although it wasn't without at least one classic Tortorella quote, who outlined an interesting road map to success before the puck was dropped. [Blueshirts Blog]

If you missed Saturday's matinee win over the Canuks, here are some recaps of the game. [Blueshirt Banter] [Daily News] [NY Post] [The Record] [Newsday] [ESPN NY]

After showing how effective he can be on the road, Cam Talbot wasted no time endearing himself to the Garden faithful with an impressive, home performance on Saturday. [NY Post]

With Talbot turning in yet another performance, Alain Vigneault was mum on which of his goalies would get the nod Monday versus the Winnipeg Jets. [ESPN NY] But with a game in Buffalo on Thursday, expect Henrik Lundqvist to be the guy against the Jets.

After a successful return to the lineup on Saturday, Michael Del Zotto discussed his play, as well as a dangerous hit he took from Tom Setito in the third period. [Blueshirts Blog]

Del Zotto did not miss a shift after the elbow, and replaced John Moore in the lineup. [Rangers Rants] After Moore struggled Friday in Boston, he got a chance to watch the action on Saturday, in a move that's been consistent with Vigneault's coaching style all season.

In one of his first bouts of post game anger this season, Vigneault expressed his displeasure with the team's effort Friday in Boston. [NY Post]

Doc Emrick: "I look at the Rangers, Devils and Flyers as the three that will be going hard for that last playoff spot." [NY Post]

NHL players and fans needed a heads-up on medical issues, writes Larry Brooks. [NY Post]

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