After a shellshocking loss to Our Mildly Aggravating Rivals three nights ago, the Blueshirts are back home for a meeting with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tonight will serve as the home debut for all three of the Blueshirts deadline day acquisitions. Andrew Copp had a strong debut, recording a pair of assists against the Devils, but Tyler Motte and Justin Braun were relative non-factors in the 7-4 road loss.
That stunning result led Gerard Gallant to shake up his forward lines. Alexis Lafreniere has been dropped from the first line down to the third alongside Filip Chytil and Barclay Goodrow. Copp will jump into the right wing spot on the second line alongside Artemiy Panarin and Ryan Strome, while Frank Vatrano will be tasked with top line duty.
Player to Watch: Alexis Lafreniere
In spite of recording an assist in each of the previous four games, Lafreniere was bumped out of top line duty ahead of tonight’s game. Questionable deployment and playing time have been the centerpiece of Lafreniere’s struggles relative to previous first overall picks thus far, so tonight’s assignment won’t do Lafreniere any favors. In spite of that, keep an eye on him to step up against a Pittsburgh team loaded with highly drafted stars.
Enjoy the game!