DETROIT — Rangers coach David Quinn decided to bench Kevin Shattenkirk on Thursday night against the Red Wings, saying the defenseman’s play had slipped of late.
It was the second time Shattenkirk was scratched this season (he was held out of the fourth game in October).
Quinn said he has noticed “a little bit of slippage’’ in Shattenkirk’s play of late. “Over the course of the last few weeks, I think he’s been frustrated with his power-play play, and I think he’s putting a little bit too much pressure on himself, and I think sometimes that affects the rest of his game,’’ Quinn said.
Forward Lias Andersson went back into the lineup Thursday after being held out Tuesday.
Defenseman Brendan Smith, who had been playing as a winger on the fourth line, took Shattenkirk’s spot next to Brady Skjei.
Quinn said fourth-line forward Boo Nieves has played well enough to stay in the lineup.
“That always plays a role in it, too, what other people are doing,’’ he said. “And Boo had a really good night [Tuesday].’’
Smith played against the Red Wings for the first time since Detroit traded him to the Rangers in February 2017.
Defenseman Marc Staal, who missed practice Wednesday in Dallas because he was battling the flu, skated briefly in the morning and was able to play. Staal is one of three players to have played in each of the Rangers’ games this season, with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider being the others . . . Defenseman Freddie Claesson and forward Connor Brickley were the other scratches . . . The Red Wings played their first home game since the death of Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay. A red No. 7 was painted behind each goal and there were No. 7 posters on each seat. The center ice video board played a tribute video to Lindsay during the first TV timeout.