Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Sean Avery in for Game 2

Sean Avery of the ew York Rangers leaves

Sean Avery of the ew York Rangers leaves the ice after fighting with #59 Michael Haley of the New York Islanders during third period action at the Nassau Coliseum. (March 31, 2011) (Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin)

Sean Avery will play in Game 2 of the Rangers' first-round playoff series against the No. 1 Capitals.

"I'm ready to go," said Avery, who was scratched for the season finale against the Devils and Game 1, and answered very few questions because he did not want to be on camera. He said it didn't matter who the opponent was. "I don't worry about anything."

In 2009, Avery provided a spark against the Capitals after he was benched by Tortorella in Game 5.

“When Sean is consistent with his play, he can add some forechecking to us," Tortorella said. " Hopefully he’ll give us an opportunity to forecheck, to stay disciplined and add some energy to our lineup.”

“We have to spend more time in the end zone than we did last game, that’s a big part of how we have to play against this club so hopefully Sean will give us some juice there and add some forechecking,” Tortorella said.

The Rangers were far too polite with goaltender Michal Neuvirth in Game 1. In fact, when I mentioned that to Washington Post sportswriter Tarik El-Bashir earlier today in the press room, he said: "I thought that too."  Avery---who will likely play on a line with Artem Anisimov and Chris Drury---will change that a little.

Avery replaces rookie Mats Zuccarello, who, Tortorella said, has had a trying season.

"It’s been a long year for him as far as up and down (to Hartford) and learning the new game in North American, playing in the minors with everybody chasing you around,” Tortorella said. “It’s still an open book for him as to where he sits as a National Hockey Leaguer. He sees the ice. He makes some plays that some players don’t see.”

So here's a question: If the Rangers need a spare with size, how about recalling Dale Weise from The Whale?

Matt Gilroy, who scored the lone goal on Wednesday, stays in on defense. "He played very well," said Tortorella. Steve Eminger sits agian.

Tags: Sean Avery

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