Wojtek Wolski and Erik Christensen were healthy scratches again Tuesday night, and the front office is considering asking the forwards to report to the AHL Whale for conditioning.

Christensen has played only 20 games, and none since Dec. 17. He has five points on a goal and four assists. Wolski, who had a sports hernia repaired, hasn't played since Nov. 3. He was a healthy scratch for the first time against Florida Dec. 30.

Each would have to consent to the assignment. Judging from coach John Tortorella's comments, a refusal would not be well accepted, and could prompt a waiver or a trade.

Tortorella said they haven't been asked to report, but "it's an option . . . They need to play. When you have a minor-league team down the street, it's a really good thing for what's good for them and what's good for the team. We're in the process of trying to figure that out. We're bound to have injuries, but I think it would be good to just go down and play."

Bickel is staying

Defenseman Jeff Woywitka (foot) also was scratched, and undrafted 6-4 blueliner Stu Bickel, 25, is sticking around. Tuesday night was his 10th game and the former Duck, acquired Nov. 23, 2010, has impressed.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"He's a rangy, physical guy who's willing to play in the tough areas," Tortorella said. "He's working on his puck skills, his outlet passes, his reads and how we play defense. That's going to take some time, but he certainly warrants the time of being here. He's just starting, and it's something to grab hold of and see if we can teach."

Lundqvist vs. Ottawa

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who started Tuesday night, also could start Thursday against Ottawa at the Garden.