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D Stralman in Thursday for Rangers

Given his absence from the lineup following his lackluster November 23 debut, defenseman Anton Stralman will aim to show more in his second turn Thursday night against the Bolts at Madison Square Garden.

The 25-year-old, who inked a one-year deal worth $900,000 last month, returns to the lineup to replace an injured Michael Sauer, who is out with a concussion.

"I just want him to play. I just want him to defend as hard as he can, get up the ice when he can, hopefully help us -- he will get some power-play time -- so hopefully help us there, and then we'll see," coach John Tortorella said in his pre-game press conference.

The Rangers defensive unit has been outstanding in weathering the devastating loss of Marc Staal, so Tortorella has confidence the group can handle this injury as well.

"For the past two years, I think our guys have handled those situations very well," Tortorella said. "They're not getting too wrapped up in it and not taking a step back from it. [They] just continue to go out and play the way they are supposed to play."