After an hour-long practice today that was more of a tune-up (hitting was non-existent) for tomorrow's matinee against the Hurricanes, coach John Tortorella said he would keep his latest No. 1 line (Brandon Dubinsky-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik) together for at least the start of the game.
"I still think Dubi's a centerman," said the coach, but that without Vinny Prospal, Christensen is a useful playmaker. "Vinny is also a guy who can play both positions."
Torts wouldn't commit on whether Henrik Lundqvist would make his 15th consecutive start, but he was the first goaltender off the ice.
The other lines:
Avery-Anisimov-Kotalik; Higgins-Drury-Callahan, Brashear/Voros-Boyle-Lisin.
Kotalik had five shots and as assist against the Canes on New Year's Eve and here's the coach's assessment:
"He was getting chances because he's putting himself in position to shoot the puck (on the power play) It's still a work in progress, 5 on 5, but at least on the power play he seems much more comfortable. The key thing on the weak side of the power play is just finding the area to get yourself open, he's done a pretty good job without the puck in getting himself open. He's the shooter and teams know it."