Tim Erixon skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Oct. 27,...

Tim Erixon skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Oct. 27, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

It's Tim Erixon's turn again.

The 21-year-old defenseman, considered the best defensive prospect in the Rangers' system, is going to get a long look down the stretch from coach John Tortorella.

"I don't go by the [AHL] reports," Tortorella said before Saturday night's game. "I want to see him myself."

Erixon has three goals, all on the power play, and 30 assists in 43 AHL games.

He played the first nine games of the season with the Rangers, was sent down, and was recalled for four games in December.

"I feel like I've improved [since then]," Erixon said Saturday afternoon. "I'm working on the same things and learning the system . . . I want to be more aggressive. I feel more comfortable with that. I feel stronger."

Erixon was paired with rookie Stu Bickel in Saturday night's game.

Having played in the Swedish Elite League, Erixon -- a first-round draft pick by Calgary in 2009 -- hasn't overhauled his game. "You've got to adjust a little bit. It's a big difference, the big ice and the small ice," he said.

Mats Zuccarello, Erixon's AHL roommate, said, "He's in kind of the same situation as me, coming to a new environment. It's more serious; I told him you really have to focus, but keep the way you play. He's getting a little stronger. I usually had to wait for him when he was in the gym, for a ride back from the rink."

Blue notes

Artem Anisimov, who appeared to injure his left shoulder Thursday against the Penguins, missed a game for the second time this season. Injured defenseman Steve Eminger also was out. The team did not provide specifics . . . D Anton Stralman was a healthy scratch for only the second time since Dec. 5. "He hasn't played well," Tortorella said . . . Before last night's game, the Rangers had won three straight on March 17 and were 14-20 all- time . . . John Scott and Jeff Woywitka were the other healthy scratches.

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