Artemi Panarin of the Rangers skates against Jakob Silfverberg of...

Artemi Panarin of the Rangers skates against Jakob Silfverberg of the Ducks in the third period at Honda Center on November 23, 2022 in Anaheim. Credit: Getty Images/Ronald Martinez

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — On the eve of The Connor McDavid Show coming to Broadway, Gerard Gallant is rearranging his cast.

During Friday morning’s 45-minute practice at the MSG Training Facility, Artemi Panarin skated on the top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. And while he said it was not a permanent change, Gallant acknowledged he is interested in seeing how his three best offensive forwards perform as a trio, which he had put together in the Rangers’ 3-2 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday night.  

“He’s a great player for us and I just wanted to shake things up a little bit the other night,” Gallant said. “I thought for the 25 or whatever minutes it was that they played together they looked really good. So just a little adjustment and if we don’t like it, you can switch it back. It’s a really easy adjustment to switch it back.”

With Panarin now on Zibanejad’s right side, his normal centerman, Vincent Trocheck, was paired with Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow during the practice session. The Kid Line of Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko remained intact, while the fourth line was comprised of Sammy Blais, Ryan Carpenter and Vitali Kravtsov with Julien Gauthier getting some work in.

The Rangers (10-7-4) are entering Saturday’s matinee against the Oilers (10-10-0) having compiled a 2-1-1 mark in their four-game West Coast trip. Offensive production was a concern, though, as the Rangers totaled only 11 goals in the four games, despite generating 141 shots on goal and 261 total shot attempts. In two of the games – the 2-1 win over San Jose and the loss to the Ducks – the Rangers were credited with 43 shots on goal.

“We’re trying [to score goals]. We’re not trying to shoot for the chest or for a save. We’re trying to shoot to score,” said Trocheck, who added that it can be irritating individually and collectively to generate shots but not to be rewarded with goals. Following their 8-2 blowout win in Detroit on Nov. 10, the Rangers have totaled 16 goals in six games, an average of 2.6 goals per game. In that stretch, they have gone 3-2-1.    

“It can be frustrating,” Trocheck said. “But at the same time if you’re getting opportunities, then [you have to feel positive]. If you’re not getting opportunities, that’s when you have to [be concerned].”

Perhaps the Oilers are the perfect elixir for what ails the Rangers' offense. Edmonton has lost seven of its 11 games in November, and No. 1 goalie Jack Campbell has struggled. Signed to a five-year, $25 million contract this summer, the 30-year-old is 6-5-0 with a 4.15 goals against average and .876 save percentage this season. However, he is coming off a 28-save effort in the Oilers’ last game, a 3-0 loss to the Islanders at UBS Arena on Wednesday. Following the game, Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft defended Campbell.

“I saw Jack Campbell burn to be in the net,” Woodcroft told reporters. “He gave us a chance to win. …I thought he made some good saves when called upon. I’m impressed with Jack Campbell.”

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