Monday, February 7, 2011

Rangers-Red Wings Preview: Biron in again tonight

Suddenly, Henrik Lundqvist is riding the pine. The King has slumped since his best game of the year- a 1-0 shutout of the Canucks at MSG last month. Having let in questionable goals in each of his last four starts, John Tortorella has decided to give our franchise netminder a breather by playing Martin Biron a second consecutive game. Since relieving Lundqvist in a 3-2 home loss to the Devils, all Biron has done is allow one goal on 36 shots. Albeit a flukey one by ex-Ranger Scott Gomez, who picked up a hard carom of an Alexandre Picard wide shot and went upstairs during the Canadiens' 2-0 shutout Saturday.

So, Biron gets the call again in Detroit against a very skilled Red Wing team that even minus Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom can score in bunches. They enter having been blanked consecutively. Figure Henrik Zetterberg, Nick Lidstrom, Johan Franzen and Company to play with an edge. Especially with Nashville breathing down their necks. In their proud history, the Red Wings have never been shutout three straight times. I highly expect Biron to keep them off the scoreboard tonight. But that also means this MIA act by Marian Gaborik has to end. There have been too many games where our most dangerous sniper hasn't been noticeable. With his ice-time dwindling including on our dreadful power play that fired blanks on four in a row in en empty second at Molson Centre, it's time for No.10 to resemble the guy who scored 43 goals last year. Tonight is as good a place as any to start.

Hopefully, our guys who are on their first four-game skid of the season will turn it up and snap out of it. They're only making it harder on themselves.

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