Igor Shesterkin will start in net for the Rangers tonight against Florida.
Filip Chytil will miss tonight’s game with an upper body injury and is listed as day to day.
The lines being used to start tonight are (MSG):
- Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Sammy Blais
- Artemi Panarin, Ryan Strome, Kaapo Kakko
- Alexis Lafreniere, Barclay Goodrow, Julien Gauthier
- Dryden Hunt, Kevin Rooney, Ryan Reaves.
Gerard Gallant spoke before the game and said (NYR):
- Update on Chytil, “day to day, upper body.”
- Will Chytil play tonight, “…..upper body, day to day.”
- On the challenge tonight, “it’s going to be a challenge, they are a real good hockey team. Last game was a tough loss, you lose 6-0 at the end of a road trip and you aren’t happy about it, so hopefully that will get our guys inspired to play a real hard game, but it’s not easy. You gotta battle back and you’re playing the top team in the league tonight, Florida, great team, fast, play a good game, but we have to be ready to play and play hard and that is our job. We got four days off after tonight so hopefully we will leave it out there and play a real well.”
- What options do you have if Chytil is out, “lots of options, Goodrow can go anywhere. We will see what we are going to do, not an issue. We’d like to have Fil….”
- Are you still looking for consistent combinations, “you are pretty accurate, we are looking to play better, no doubt about that. Our game has been good at times, but inconsistent and we gotta play better as a group. Coaches always look at different line combinations and you don’t put it on one guy or two guys, it’s the whole group. Our record isn’t bad, but we can play better, no doubt and hopefully you get some different line combinations and like some stuff and the flow of your game, we gotta get to that point.”
- What have you thought of the Strome line, “I’m not looking at one game, we’ve played 12 games so far and it’s been inconsistent, the whole group. I can’t say Strome’s line more than Zibanejad’s line because they have been moved around, Strome missed four games, but as a group we have to be better and more consistent because we do some real good things. Two periods the other night in Edmonton we looked like a real good hockey team and then we had a bad period. Starting off in Calgary was a pretty even first period and then they got the 2-0 lead and the game was over. End of a road trip you find excuses and you’re tired and that is what happens, but again, we are fortunate to be where we are in the standings and we gotta move on.”
- On the stretches where no offense is created, “I agree with that the last two games for sure, but I don’t agree with it earlier on. We’ve shut teams down pretty good and I watched a really good Islanders team last night give up four goals in the third period. It happens the first part of the season, I think teams are better 20 games in, but there is no doubt that has been an issue for us. We are still a young team, you look at our roster there are some young kids that make some mistakes, and I said it the other night, every NHL player makes mistakes. It seems like we put the blame on our young kids, not me, but I watch games every night and veteran players make a lot of mistakes. At this time of the season where sometimes you are real loose and when you play your real good games you look like a real good team. Hopefully we will get to that real soon, we’ve played some real good spurts this season, and we’ve had games like you just talked about.”