Report: Artemi Panarin out for Rangers; Alexis Lafrenière moves up and Filip Chytil on wing

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Jan 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (right) celebrates with left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett /POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will not have Artemi Panarin for their big tilt against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Panarin leads the Rangers with 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) and is day-to-day with a lower body injury. He played only seven minutes in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over the league-worst Arizona Coyotes. He did not return to the ice after taking a lengthy shift in the opening minutes of the second period.

Panarin Out: Lafreniere up, Chytil to LW

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Alexis Lafrenière, who was moved up in Arizona will get the first shot at replacing him tonight. The 20 year-old first overall selection in the 2020 Draft has 6 goals and 8 points in 29 games this season.

This is an excellent opportunity for Alexis to get more playing time with a high skilled center.

Earlier today, Gerard Gallant noted that “if” Panarin were to miss the game he would reinsert Filip Chytil into the lineup at left wing. Initially, it was believed that it would be in Panarin spot, but it will be on the third line with Barclay Goodrow and Julien Gauthier.

Chytil, 22, is starting his fourth full season with the Rangers after debuting for 9 games at the end of 2017-18. For all his size, speed, and skill, the youngster still struggles to be consistent. That issue is only compounded when he doesn’t look engaged as he did in his last two games against Nashville and Colorado. He registered just one shot in each contest, winning just 3 of 8 draws.

“Sometimes you need lessons,” Gallant said after giving Chytil a healthy scratch. “I’m not saying it was a lesson tonight but [McKegg] been a great guy for us, so we’ll see where it goes.”

Nils Lundkvist returned to practice today but remains out. Libor Hajek stays in the lineup.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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