Rangers Peter Laviolette, top center, watches a replay review in...

Rangers Peter Laviolette, top center, watches a replay review in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Friday, Dec. 29, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. Credit: AP/Lynne Sladky

GREENBURGH — Though the Rangers did win their last game Friday night in Chicago, the way they won it left a lot to be desired. They blew a two-goal lead in the final seven minutes against the worst team in the NHL before recovering for a 4-3 overtime win.

One of the things that let them down and clearly needed attention was the power play, which went 0-for-3 and is 0-for-14 in the last six games. So at Sunday’s practice, coach Peter Laviolette changed the makeup of the two power-play units, creating two more balanced groups rather than a clear No.  1 and No. 2.

“We’re just looking at it,’’ Laviolette said. “Obviously, it’s not the level it was at the beginning of the year. I understand we need to make plays out there, but we also need to bring more pucks to the net, try and find more traffic and more action at the net.

“You do that by moving [the puck] around, but we also need that attack that’s coming ‘downhill.’ So we just wanted to look at it today a little bit in practice and we’ll see.’’

Laviolette broke up the unit of Adam Fox, Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck and Chris Kreider, which has been the No. 1 unit for most of the last two seasons. He inserted Blake Wheeler and Jonny Brodzinski in place of Panarin and Trocheck and put Panarin and Trocheck on the second unit with Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko and point man Erik Gustafsson.

“Our power play has been, if not the best, one of the best in the league all year. And I think especially early on, we really relied on them to score big goals and win us hockey games,’’ Wheeler said. “I still think that [original first] unit has been great, [but] sometimes it just doesn’t go in. And when that happens, you . . . shake things up, try to get a spark.’’

The moves keep each of the top two forward lines (Kreider-Zibanejad-Wheeler and Panarin-Trocheck-Lafreniere) intact on its own unit, though Laviolette said that wasn’t necessarily the idea.

“We’re just looking for a balance inside of the positions,’’ he said. “[But] maybe there are some things inside of their line that you look at and you say, ‘Well, there’s a lot of chemistry when they do this.’ Maybe that can come to the power play as well.’’

“We have to try something,’’ Panarin said.

Panarin said he has “no idea’’ what the primary problem has been with the power play but added that it hasn’t been only one thing.

“We have five guys, [maybe] it’s a bad night for one and then the whole power play is broken,’’ he said. “And then the next night, it can be [bad] ice. Or after that, we’ve lost confidence and then it snowballs.

“But it’s good to have [struggles] at this part of the season,’’ he said. “Hopefully we can recover [before the playoffs].’’

Notes & quotes: Late Saturday night, the Rangers returned forward Jake Leschyshyn to AHL Hartford and called up forwards Adam Edstrom and Matt Rempe. Asked why the extra forward was called up, Laviolette said the team is “dealing with a couple of things in the room.’’ He also said the team wants to take a look at Edstrom and Rempe.

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