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Del Zotto Felled By Virus, Does Not Travel To D.C.

by Jim Cerny / New York Rangers

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto was forced to miss practice on Tuesday because he is suffering from the flu. As a precaution he did not travel with the team to Washington so as not to infect any of his teammates.

Despite missing the charter to the nation's capital, there is a chance that Del Zotto could join the team in time for Wednesday's game if he is feeling better.

"He is not flying in (Tuesday), he's not feeling well," head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters. "We'll see how he feels (Wednesday), but unless energy-wise he feels a lot better then he's not going to play."

Justin Falk skated in Del Zotto's spot on the third defense pairing with John Moore during Tuesday's practice. Falk made his Rangers debut as a seventh defensemen in Saturday's 5-3 loss in St. Louis, playing 5:18 and recording one shot on goal while taking two minor penalties.

The 23 year-old Del Zotto, who has missed just nine games in his three full seasons in the NHL, has been held without a point in the first five games so far this year.

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