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Monday, October 31, 2011
Big night for Christensen, Torts responds to Thornton

By Katie Strang

En route to the team's 5-2 win over the Sharks Monday at Madison Square Garden, fourth-line center Erik Christensen was one of three players to earn multiple assists on the night.

Christensen, who hasn't played over 10 minutes all season, set up two of three second-period goals for the Rangers. After making a nice feed to Callahan down low for an easy backdoor goal at 14:00, Christensen dished to Artem Anisimov on a rush to give the team a 4-2 lead at 16:42.

"I'm not the banger and crasher that's usually on the fourth line, but you try to embrace it and do the best you can," said Christensen, who entered Monday's game scoreless. "I certainly am not going to change the way I think the game, or the way I want to play the game or the way I want to contribute to a game. It's just nice to get some pucks in open ice where I feel I can be effective."

Tortorella liked what he saw from Christensen but said he'd like to see that more consistently.

"He shows you those glimpses and you want it to happen every night," Tortorella said. "For some reason, the consistency isn't there. That's a mental block of Erik's. He needs that, he should feel good about himself tonight and grow with that."

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Sharks captain Joe Thornton took a shot at the Rangers after the game, San Jose's first loss of a six-game road trip.

"They were probably the softest team we played on the trip. We should have had these two points," he told reporters.

When told about Thornton's jab, Tortorella responded:

"Wonderful."

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The Rangers have no update on Mike Rupp, who missed his third straight game today with a knee injury.

Rupp visited with a doctor Monday afternoon, but the team is still trying to decide on the best course of action.

"Certainly haven't zeroed in on the best thing to do with him," Tortorella said.