Biron Makes First Start Of Season

Martin Biron was the first goalie off the ice after the Rangers full-team morning skate Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and afterwards he and head coach John Tortorella confirmed that Biron will make his first start of the 2013 season this evening against the Lightning.

"We're not taking (Henrik Lundqvist) out because he's tired or anything like that," explained Tortorella. "We feel really comfortable how we used our goalies last year, and we didn't stray from our plan no matter the circumstances, and we'd like to do the same thing this year. We have two good ones here."

Lundqvist started the first seven games of the season, posting a 3-4-0 record, 2.79 goals against average and .904 save percentage. Biron has made one appearance in relief of Lundqvist---January 20th in a 6-3 loss to the Penguins---and stopped 19 of 20 shots in just over 30 minutes of action.

"It doesn't matter how long you have played in the league, you always get those butterflies and jitters, especially coming in here this morning and focusing on tonights' game," said Biron. "It doesn't get any better than this. I am really excited to get going tonight."

Biron also explained that his work during and after practices with goaltending coach Benoit Allaire was a major reason why he enjoyed such a successful 2011-12 season as Lundqvist's back-up, and why he believes he is so well prepared for tonight's game against the Lightning.

"What we have learned the past couple of years is that it doesn't matter if you have just played or have not played in three weeks, it's not so much the game action that gets you ready for the games, it's the work you do in practice that prepares you," explained Biron, who appeared in 21 games last season and posted a 12-6-2 record with a a 2.46 goals against average.

As for facing the top offensive team in the NHL tonight---one that is coming off an eight-goal outburst, and has scored 37 times in seven games already---Biron is not scared one bit.

"It's going to be a great challenge, and I will just try and do my best," Biron said of playing the Lightning. "But every team has firepower and can on any given night play a great game. For me, it's more about my preparation than it is about the other team."

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Other than the switch in goal, the Rangers will ice the same lineup tonight as they did in Thursday's 3-0 loss to the Penguins, meaning that Steve Eminger will be the healthy scratch, joining the injured Ryan Callahan (subluxed left shoulder) and Chris Kreider (chipped bone in ankle) on the sidelines.

Kreider did take part in the morning skate on Saturday as he inches towards a return to the lineup hopefully in the near future.

Matt Gilroy, who played part of the 2011-12 season with the Lightning, will appear in his second straight game this evening for the Rangers on defense, while Stu Bickel will once again play forward on the fourth line.

What do you think of the Rangers lineup tonight? And what are your thoughts on Marty Biron making his first start of the season? Let us know below.