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Brashear, Voros will share time on fourth line

Donald Brashear and Aaron Voros will share time as the fourth-line left wing for the foreseeable future. Brashear, 37, dressed last night against the Bruins after Voros skated in the two games against Carolina last week.

"I don't want to sit Brash for five straight and so I'm going to pick and choose some lineups he plays against," coach John Tortorella said. "But I do want to get A.V. involved."

Voros, a healthy scratch 20 times this season, played a total of 6:13 in the last two games. Brashear, who has missed 10 games with injuries to his ribs and hand, has one assist in 29 games and has not been the enforcer or deterrent that was expected when he signed a two-year, $2.8-million deal last summer.

First start for Johnson?

Rookie backup goalie Chad Johnson, who was sent to Hartford to play two games to shake off the rust, will practice with the Rangers Tuesday and could make his first NHL start in Atlanta Thursday.

Johnson, 23, said he won't do anything special to prepare for his start. "No, not me," he said when told that former backup Steve Valiquette took ice-water baths before starts. "I'll still do my stretches and I like my nap. That won't change."

Stepan leads Team USA

Team USA captain Derek Stepan, who recorded two assists in the 6-2 victory over Finland that propelled his squad into the World Junior Championships gold-medal game Tuesday nightagainst Canada, leads the tournament in assists (eight) and points (11). The last time a Rangers draft choice led the tournament in scoring was in 1991, when Doug Weight took the honors.

Stepan is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin. Chris Kreider, last summer's No. 1 pick for the Blueshirts, is tied for the team lead in goals with five.

New York Sports