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Christensen in, Avery sits against HC Slovan

Sunday, 10.02.2011 / 10:31 AM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / Rangers World Tour

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Christensen in, Avery sits against HC Slovan
BRATISLAVA -- Rangers coach John Tortorella said Saturday that Sean Avery and Erik Christensen are vying for the final roster spot before the team gets to Stockholm to open the regular season.

Well, Christensen is in the lineup tonight against HC Slovan, and Avery is scratched. Read into that what you will, but I'll find out more of Tortorella's reasoning after the game.

I thought he would play them both tonight and Monday in Zug, and judge off of those performances, but clearly Tortorella has a different plan.

Wojtek Wolski is the other forward scratched, but he played in both Prague and Gothenburg.

Henrik Lundqvist will start in net for the Rangers and be backed up by Martin Biron.

Dan Girardi, who hasn't played yet here in Europe, will be on the top defensive pair with Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers have only six healthy defensemen here with Michael Sauer still out with a shoulder injury and Marc Staal back in the U.S.

Michael Del Zotto, Steve Eminger, Brendan Bell and Stu Bickel round out the Rangers D corps tonight.

Brian Boyle will get a look as the left wing on the top line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik. Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov will play together again. That seems to be the Rangers second line for the moment, and will be to start the season provided Tortorella feels comfortable with either Wolski or perhaps even Boyle on the top line with Richards and Gaborik.

Christensen, Brandon Prust and Ruslan Fedotenko make up the third line. The fourth line is Derek Stepan with Mats Zuccarello and Mike Rupp.

One noticeable name on the Slovan roster is Miroslav Satan.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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I don't have a crystal ball. Predicting is a real complicated thing. If we stay healthy, have enough depth and get the good goaltending we think we're going to have, you can go all the way. But a lot of things have to happen. There's going to be a lot of teams that think the same thing. Everyone made deals. We're all are optimistic about where we'll end up.

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