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John Tortorella: Derek Stepan 'our most consistent player'

Derek Stepan celebrates his second-period goal during a

Derek Stepan celebrates his second-period goal during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden. (March 18, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Third-year center Derek Stepan leads the Rangers in points (42), assists (25) and plus-minus (+23). After tallying just 10 points during the first two months of the season, Stepan turned it on for the stretch run, and added a goal and assist against Carolina on Thursday as the Rangers finally clinched a playoff berth.

Rangers coach John Tortorella, speaking after practice at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility on Friday, was extremely complimentary of Stepan’s recent efforts.

“Last night is just a small little blip of what he does for the team in a very important game,” Tortorella said. “And there are other things that you probably don’t see, just some small intangibles in terms of positioning. He has turned into – he’s been our most consistent player all year long in most situations. At his age, it’s a pretty good thing for this organization.”

New York Sports