At a glance: After dropping their first two games at Madison Square Garden, including a crushing third-period meltdown Saturday, the Rangers are looking to earn their first win in front of a home crowd against a streaking Sharks squad that has won five straight.
Backup Biron: Backup goaltender Martin Biron will make his second start of the season against San Jose. The 34-year-old stopped 27 of 28 shots in his last start, a 2-1 win over the Jets in Winnipeg October 24. Tortorella said before Monday’s game that he plans to play starter Henrik Lundqvist between 63-65 games this season with Biron playing the remainder.
Success against the Sharks: Star center Brad Richards is first among the Rangers in points against the Sharks. The 31-year-old has eight goals and 12 assists in 24 regular-season career games against San Jose. He had a season-high three points Saturday, finishing with two goals and one assist.
Adding Avery: Rangers fan favorite Sean Avery, who was waived by the team earlier this month, appears to be headed back to Broadway. The Rangers officially placed the feisty forward on re-entry waivers Monday. If he clears Tuesday at noon, he could be available to play Thursday against the Ducks.
Rupp out: Mike Rupp will miss his third straight game with what now appears to be more than a “cranky knee.” Rupp visited a doctor Monday afternoon, and although coach John Tortorella said the team is “concerned” about the big man, there is no update immediately available. The team has not yet ruled out surgery as an option.
Deveaux debut: Physical forward Andre Deveaux (6-4, 232) will make his Rangers debut in place of Rupp. Deveaux, who was called up Sunday, is tied for second with four goals and two assists in nine games this season with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.
Artie all right: Although Artem Anisimov was slow to get up after a hard hit Saturday and missed practice Sunday with a sore neck, the 23-year-old center said he felt “great" and is ready to play Monday.
Lineup changes: Following Tim Erixon’s demotion to the minor leagues, defenseman Jeff Woywitka will play his first game since last Monday against Winnipeg. The 20-year-old Erixon was sent to the team’s AHL affiliate in Hartford after Saturday’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Senators.
Bottom line: It’s too early for must-wins, but a victory on home ice would go a long way for a sputtering Rangers squad at the midway point of a six-game homestand.