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At the Rink blog

Lundqvist starts, Asham debuts for Rangers

Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 5:07 PM

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Lundqvist starts, Asham debuts for Rangers

NEW YORK – Henrik Lundqvist will start his second straight game as the New York Rangers play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.

Lundqvist played well in a 3-1 loss Saturday night to the Bruins in Boston, making 31 saves.

The only lineup change Sunday for the Rangers will be the return of Arron Asham from a four-game suspension he incurred as a member of the Penguins during the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last year against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Asham signed with the Rangers during the offseason in part to replace the loss of enforcer Brandon Prust to the Montreal Canadiens via free agency. The 34-year-old Asham isn’t shy about dropping the gloves and the occasional borderline hit, but Rangers coach John Tortorella doesn’t want to rein him in for his debut.

“I don’t expect him to be a saint,” Tortorella said. “The way he plays, I want him to be himself. I think you can play the game hard – and we have done that – without taking penalties.”

To make room for Asham, the Rangers sent forward Brandon Segal to Connecticut of the AHL. He had two penalty minutes (hooking) in 5:21 of ice time against the Bruins.

Here are the likely lines and d-pairs for the Rangers:

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Rick Nash
Marian Gaborik - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Chris Kreider - Bryan Boyle - Taylor Pyatt
Mike Rupp - Jeff Halpern - Arron Asham

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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