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Morning Skate Notes: Hank In; Same Line-up; Stepan’s Play Dips

The New York Rangers reported that Wojtek Wolski, Erik Christensen, and Marty Biron all remain on ice after morning skate, meaning the line-up will remain the same tonight against the Coyotes and Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal.

…with how well this team’s been playing, it’s real tough to call for a line-up change, but I’d like to see Torts start working Wolski back into the line-up. The guy’s been out of the tub so long the pruning of his skin has actually dissipated. Get this guy in there Torts.

Meanwhile, Andrew Gross spoke with Derek Stepan about his recent dip in play…

“Personally, I feel my game has slipped the last couple of games,” Stepan said. “I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a mental lapse or that time in the season when you go through ups and downs. I’m looking to fix it and I think that will help out. It’s hard for a line when you have one guy dip. We haven’t had the puck and, having the puck, defensively, the key is the center has to make plays coming out of the zone. It’s tough when the guy distributing it is not doing a good job.”

Stepan also acknowledges that the GAS line has been struggling of late.

…while Stepan cites his own dip in play, to me the key to the GAS line’s recent struggles has been the recent lackluster play of AA, who is pointless in his last seven with just eight shots on goal combined in those games. Not going to panic yet, as every line in the NHL goes through cold streaks, but I’d like to see AA start getting more pucks to the net. Once that happens I think the line will start generating more offense again.

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