Gerard Gallant uses 11-forward, 7-defensemen combo again
DALLAS — For the second time on the four-game road trip, Rangers coach Gerard Gallant used an 11-forward, seven-defenseman configuration Saturday night.
He had used an 11-and-7 lineup in the first game of the trip, in a 4-1 win over Winnipeg, and did it again in a 7-4 win over the Stars that ended a two-game losing streak.
Gallant said he dressed an extra defenseman in order to help him manage the playing time of some of his top defensemen who have been playing heavy minutes.
Libor Hajek entered the lineup and played only 5:28, but Ryan Lindgren, who had been averaging 20:22 per game, played only 16:47. Adam Fox, who had been averaging 24:12, played 22:39. Jacob Trouba, who averages 22:35, played 20:28.
"We talked about minutes for some of our key defensemen and managing that,’’ Gallant said. "That’s the main reason we went with it.’’
He also said he wanted an extra defenseman in the lineup because "maybe somebody’s bumped up just a little bit.’’
McKegg draws in, scores
Gallant inserted forward Greg McKegg, who missed the first three games of the trip because of a personal matter and missed the last game before the road trip because he was sick. McKegg scored in the first period to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Fs Ryan Reaves and Tim Gettinger were scratched. Reaves was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. "It’s just a coach’s decision tonight,’’ Gallant said. "We wanted to change some things up, that’s all. Nothing he did wrong, it’s just what we wanted to go with.’’ . . . Morgan Barron was scratched for the fifth straight game