3.9k Share this

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant insisted Alexis Lafreniere would be back in the lineup Saturday afternoon against the Red Wings, after the 20-year-old winger was made the first of what could be several load-managing scratches through the final seven regular-season games.

While Gallant confirmed Lafreniere would play, he wouldn’t reveal where the former first-overall pick would line up. Lafreniere not only rotated in on the fourth line in practice on Friday, joining Dryden Hunt, Kevin Rooney and Ryan Reaves, but also subbed in and out of the second power-play unit.

“We’ll see where he goes, but he’ll be back,” Gallant said.

Lafreniere had skated on the left wing of the third line in the previous 10 games before he was scratched for the first time in his NHL career on Wednesday. Trade-deadline additions Frank Vatrano and Andrew Copp were given the opportunity to establish themselves in the top six and they have, leaving Lafreniere on the outs of the top two lines.

Rangers
Alexis Lafreniere
USA TODAY Sports

Even though he had found success particularly with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider on the first unit, Lafreniere was moved to accommodate the new acquisitions. Lafreniere has gone without a point in his last eight games and has recorded just two goals and one assist since the line switch.

Post Sports+ members, sign up to have Mollie Walker text you the latest word on the Rangers and reply with your thoughts and questions. Not a Sports+ member yet? Try it now.

“We’ve got four extra forwards and two extra [defensemen],” Gallant said. “That’s the way it is. We talked about it early on with the players. Play well, play good and you’ll be in our lineup. The situation we talked about last week, we’re going to rest players and we’re going to rest players when the opportunity is there when they need it. If they don’t need it, they’re just going to keep playing and trying to win hockey games.

“I made a decision the other night to rest Laffy. Not because he played bad hockey, he hasn’t played bad hockey. But he’s a young kid and we look at the stats and we look at the numbers, and we got medical people testing them every day. You take advice from people and you look around and that’s what happens.”

It’s likely that another marquee Ranger will get the day off Saturday, which will allow for Lafreniere to get back in.


Trade-deadline acquisition Tyler Motte, who sustained a “significant” upper-body injury on April 7 against the Penguins in his ninth game as a Ranger, will be sidelined for at least the rest of the regular season.

“He’s a ways away obviously,” Gallant said. “We’re not looking for him for the next seven games, that’s quite for sure. We’ll take it one step at a time, but I haven’t heard anything. I just heard he’s out for quite a while.”


Defenseman Patrik Nemeth, who has been scratched the previous three games, returned to practice Friday after taking some time off due to what the team said was a personal reason.

Source: NYPOST

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like
Texas school shooting: Hero girl shot dead 'as she tried to call 911'

Texas school shooting: Hero girl shot dead ‘as she tried to call 911’

A heroic 10-year-old girl shot dead as she tried to call 911…

Eva Longoria l Natasha Poly, Cynthia Erivo and Charli XCX at the amfAR Gala in Cannes

Christina Aguilera, Eva Longoria, Claire Foy and Cara Delevingne all stunned in…
Ray Liotta: 'Goodfellas' and 'Field of Dreams' star dies at 67; actor was filming 'Dangerous Waters' in Dominican Republic

Ray Liotta: ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘Field of Dreams’ star dies at 67; actor was filming ‘Dangerous Waters’ in Dominican Republic

Ray Liotta, the actor best known for his iconic portrayals of Henry…
La Grange Park fire crews reunited with baby they helped deliver on floor of Homestead Road apartment

La Grange Park fire crews reunited with baby they helped deliver on floor of Homestead Road apartment

LA GRANGE PARK, Ill. (WLS) — La Grange Park first responders were…
University of Chicago's men's tennis team captures first ever NCAA Division III title

University of Chicago’s men’s tennis team captures first ever NCAA Division III title

University of Chicago’s men’s tennis team captures first ever NCAA Division III…

Brian Kemp Wins Georgia Governor’s Primary, Defeating David Perdue

Gov. Brian Kemp won Georgia’s Republican gubernatorial primary Tuesday night, easily defeating…

U.S. Creating Insect ‘Bio-Weapons’ to Cause Famines

China’s state-run Global Times took a stab on Tuesday at blaming the…

Rugby Sevens star crosses to score but waits over TWO MINUTES before putting the ball down

Is this the most bizarre rugby try EVER? English star crosses to…