DENVER — Sammy Blais had some excellent scoring chances in Wednesday’s game in Las Vegas but was unable to convert. As the Rangers entered the finale of their two-game road trip Friday night in Colorado, he still had not scored a goal this season or in his 39-game Rangers career.
“For sure, it’s in the back of my head a little bit,’’ Blais said. “But you know, I just try not to think about it a lot. When I think about it too much, it won’t come, you know? So I just try to stay positive, and I’m doing some good stuff out there. Like I’m one of the most physical guys in the league right now, so I’m just trying to keep doing that.’’
The 6-2, 205-pound Blais entered Friday ninth in the NHL in hits with 88. His hits per 60 minutes (21.3) ranked third in the league.
“It’s always been in my game [and] I’m on the fourth line, so I try to bring physicality, and I try not to think about scoring a goal too much, but for sure it would be fun,’’ he said. “I’m not gonna lie to you.’’
Blais was asked if he has a special celebration planned for whenever he gets his first goal.
“No,'' he said with a laugh, "I’m just putting my hands in the air.''
Notes & quotes: Coach Gerard Gallant used the same lineup as he did in Wednesday’s game in Vegas, meaning rookie forward Vitali Kravtsov was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Gallant used Barclay Goodrow in that spot.
“I’m comfortable with what our lineup is right now,’’ Gallant said. “I like Goodrow up there, he’s played great hockey for us all year long . . . nothing against Kravy. It’s just, I like the lineup right now.’’
The other scratch was D Ben Harpur, who has yet to play since being called up from AHL Hartford last Saturday.
C Ryan Carpenter, who had been placed on waivers Thursday, cleared and was assigned to Hartford.