Sean Avery back in Rangers' lineup

Updated: April 15, 2011, 1:16 PM ET
By Scott Burnside |

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers winger Sean Avery will make his 2011 playoff debut Friday night in Game 2 of the Rangers' opening-round series against the Washington Capitals.

Coach John Tortorella confirmed the lineup change Friday morning, citing the Rangers' need to have more puck possession time in the Capitals' end of the ice following their 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1 Wednesday.

"I think at times when Sean is consistent with his play he can add some forecheck. I'll tell you right now Sean's going in tonight," Tortorella said. "So hopefully he'll give us an opportunity to forecheck, stay disciplined and add some energy to our lineup."

Avery will go in for winger Mats Zuccarello, who logged just 7 minutes, 34 seconds of ice time in Game 1 and registered one shot on goal. He had no points.

In replacing Zuccarello, Tortorella said he wasn't confident that the 23-year-old could handle the physicality of playoff hockey.

"Whether he can handle the size and the overall consistency of playoff hockey, I'm not sure," Tortorella said.

Avery, who had just three goals during the regular season, was a healthy scratch for the Rangers last two games and was a healthy scratch six times during the last month of the regular season.

When approached by reporters Friday morning, Avery would only say he was ready to play.

Scott Burnside covers the NHL for