After taking Tuesday off, the Rangers returned to the ice Wednesday afternoon for practice.
Speaking to The Post at the MSG Training Center, Artemi Panarin said: “It’s always nice to have a day off.”
It’s hard to take a full break in the playoffs, but the two days between Games 4 and 5 of this first-round series against the Devils came at perfect timing for the Rangers.
This was an opportunity to take a break from the game and reset the team spirit ahead of the all-important contest at the Prudential Center on Thursday. The season concludes on the 6th Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said of the two days between games, “I think that’s good. I think that break was really good for everyone, and today I’m sure they did the same thing: “They probably had a really good practice too, so they were ready for the game.” rice field [Thursday] night.i’m guessing [Thursday night] It would be a really good hockey game. ”
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The Rangers treated Wednesday like a normal practice day, tackling everything from power plays to oddman rushes.
Gallant stayed true to his word when he said he had no plans to change the manning of the two powerplay units, although the team practiced with a different starting alignment on Wednesday.
Since Panarin joined the Rangers before the trade deadline, Mika Zibanjad and Panarin have been mostly on the side, while Patrick Kane has been in the bumper spot.
Chris Crider and Adam Fox were in their usual positions at the front of the net and top of the zone respectively.
Gallant calls Gibanejado’s use of powerplays “a bit Rover-type”.
Zibanejad has had one-off successes in the left faceoff circle, so it makes sense that that would be his starting point.
After swapping out Gibanejad and Vincent Trocek midway through Game 4, Gallant had his players practice the way the Rangers started in each of the four games of the series.
Zibanjad returned between Crider and Kane, while Trocek centered on Panarin and Vladimir Tarasenko.