So much for keeping the same lineup. Patrick Kane is getting the night off. He will sit out due to maintenance.
Kane hasn’t been as effective as Vladimir Tarasenko. Since the Rangers acquired him from the Blackhawks, he’s been inconsistent. There are shifts where you barely notice him. Then, there are shifts where you see the star player who’s been one of the game’s best.
In 16 games as a Blueshirt, Kane has five goals and five assists for 10 points. After going without a point or much impact in losses to the Devils and Sabres, he picked up a primary assist on Mika Zibanejad’s power play goal in a 5-2 win over the Caps on Sunday.
With Kane sitting out, Gerard Gallant, as promised, will dress 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. Ben Harpur will get worked in when necessary. He’s the extra D. Maybe they’ll even have him play up front on the fourth line.
The more likely scenario is that Gallant will double shift his best players and move Jimmy Vesey up. Vesey has played with Zibanejad and Chris Kreider before. That’s something I think we’ll see.
Figure Barclay Goodrow will also get some shifts up top. He’s a versatile player who you can plug anywhere. Motte can also be moved up into the top nine.
The game is on TNT. It doesn’t begin until 7:30 EST.