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Biron to make MSG debut Wednesday

by Dan Rosen
NEW YORK -- Martin Biron will make his Madison Square Garden debut in a New York Rangers' sweater tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers, coach John Tortorella announced in his pregame press conference. It'll be Biron's second start of the season; his first one acme last Thursday, when he held Toronto to one goal on 25 shots in a 2-1 road victory.

Biron will start in place of Henrik Lundqvist, who won back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday, allowing just three goals with a .954 save percentage. Tortorella said the decision was made in concert with goalie coach Benoit Allaire and is in the best interest of both goalies.

Lundqvist has started every Ranger game at the Garden since Oct. 19, 2009, a stretch of 39 consecutive home games.

"Let's say in the last month of the season, hopefully we get where we want to be, that (Lundqvist) is going to be fresher than he has been (at the end of previous seasons)," Tortorella said. "It all comes into play here. We just feel that (Biron) can not be sitting as long as he was prior to when we got him his game. We want to get him back in. We think Biron is a pretty good goalie and we want give him some games."

Tortorella is not concerned that a game off will take away from Lundqvist's stellar play of late -- he said it will help him be ready for next month, when the Rangers have 16 games.

"This won't bother him," Tortorella said. "Lundqvist is our No. 1 guy, and we're certainly looking out for him with this situation. I can't try to make sure everybody is as sharp as they can be with two goalies. That's not what we're doing here. We just think with the schedule coming up, the amount of games in November, we want to try to keep Hank fresh -- and also we felt Marty played a pretty good game in Toronto and we wanted to get him back in."
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