Rangers' Alexis Lafreniere a healthy scratch for Thursday's matchup with Lightning

Oct 16, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere (13) plays the puck and Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield (22) defends with teammate forward Nick Suzuki (14) during the first period at the Bell Centre.
Oct 16, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere (13) plays the puck and Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield (22) defends with teammate forward Nick Suzuki (14) during the first period at the Bell Centre. / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant announced that winger Alexis Lafreniere will be a healthy scratch for Thursday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lafreniere will sit while Sammy Blais takes his place in the lineup, per Gallant.

The 21-year-old skated with the Rangers’ fourth line during Wednesday’s practice, and Gallant told reporters that he wanted to see more consistency from the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

“I want him to be better,” Gallant said Wednesday, via the New York Post. “Laffy has gotten some chances to play with good people and he’s played well at times, but it’s inconsistent. And again, there was a bunch of them [Tuesday] night [against Washington].

“So Laffy is getting maybe knocked down today in practice. Not saying he’s going to be there tomorrow. I don’t know where he’s going to be tomorrow. Sometimes it’s a wake-up call for the kids.”

Lafreniere has totaled 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 36 games this season. He played just over 13 minutes and was a -1 in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to Washington, registering one shot on goal.

Overall, Lafreniere’s tenure with the Rangers has been up and down, as he’s tallied 69 points (36 goals, 33 assists) in 171 regular season games.