Sean Avery will be scratched Sunday -- a result, coach John Tortorella said, of his waning effectiveness.
To be fair, Tortorella said Avery hasn't received ample opportunities, either. The 31-year-old feisty winger, who was exiled to the AHL for the first month of the season, has played only 29:38 over the last five games.
"I don't think Sean's been dead-on," Tortorella said in his pre-game press conference. "Having said that, he hasn't got a bunch of ice time. I'm just having problems finding ice for him. I have other guys that are filling areas and doing what I need done and I'm a little concerned about shootouts."
Enter Erik Christensen.
The skilled-yet-inconsistent center, who will play for the first time since November 23, brings a 24-for-46 career record to the shootout.
But like, Avery, Christensen has had trouble with the limited ice time. The 27-year-old has averaged 7:55 in 16 games this season while playing primarily with the team's fourth line.
He will play on the fourth line again Sunday, centering left wing Brandon Dubinsky and Brandon Prust, but will also see time on the team's second power-play unit.
"You can see he shows signs of his talent, his skill, but again it's a shift here a shift there," Tortorella said. "We're hoping he can become more consistent"