Rangers Look To Get Hot In Tampa

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Players To Watch


Rangers-Martin Biron: It is likely that the Rangers No. 2 goaltender will make his first start of the 2013 season Saturday in Tampa. And in fact it will be Biron's first start since last April the 5th, when he appeared in his 500th career NHL game, a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh. Biron was an unsung hero on the 2011-12 Rangers, and played a role in Lundqvist earning the Vezina Trophy, by playing so well as Lundqvist's back-up that the Blueshirts were able to give Lundqvist ample rest throughout the season. Biron appeared in 21 games last season, posted a 12-6-2 record with two shutouts and a 2.46 goals against average. Such a good compliment is he to Lundqvist that the Rangers moved quickly this past off-season to re-sign Biron to a two-year contract. Now the popular Biron likely makes his first start of 2013, and does so against an extremely skilled offensive opponent in the Lightning, a team he helped beat 4-3 in overtime last February the 9th at Madison Square Garden. This will be Biron's second appearance of the season as he replaced Lundqvist on January 20th at The Garden, stopping 19 of the 20 shots he faced.


Lightning-Cory Conacher: On a team full of offensive stars, the rookie Conacher has quickly found a way to fit in. He is tied for the league lead among rookies in points with 12, and leads all first-year players in assists with seven. He has also posted a +8 plus/minus mark while getting the opportunity to skate on a line with Vinny Lecavalier and Ryan Malone. Conacher had two goals and an assist on Friday, and has five multiple-point games already this season. The 5-foot-8, 23 year-old rookie helped Norfolk win the Calder Cup championship last spring and was named the AHL's Rookie of the Year after posting a 39-goal, 80-point season. In 36 games at the minor league level this year Conacher was 12-16-28 before playing well in Lightning training camp and earning a spot in the NHL. An undrafted forward out of Canisius College, Conacher is quickly making a name for himself on a very talented Lightning team.