Rangers make Alexis Lafreniere a healthy scratch against Lightning

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The New York Rangers are making forward Alexis Lafrenière a healthy scratch for their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant confirmed the news to reporters after the team’s morning skate saying that Sammy Blais will draw into the lineup for Lafrenière.

The first overall pick from the 2020 NHL Draft has five goals and 17 points in 36 games this season and was demoted to the fourth line in practice Wednesday. Lafrenière has gone eight games without scoring a goal and has seen his ice time go down to 13:41 per game in December.

“I want him to be better,” Gallant told USA Today when asked to explain the decision to demote Lafrenière to the fourth line in practice on Wednesday. “He’s got some chances to play with good people and he’s played well at times, but it’s the inconsistency.”

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