Rangers' Kakko aiming to use Game 6 scratch as motivation

Jared Silber / National Hockey League / Getty

Not only were New York Rangers fans confused about Kaapo Kakko's healthy scratch from Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, but Kakko was as well.

The young forward said he didn't find out he'd be sitting on the sidelines until he saw the lineup sheet. Although Kakko added that no one explained the move to him, he wants to use the decision as motivation.

"I want to show, like, 'I'm better than that. You should put me in the lineup, I'm a good player,'" he told reporters Monday, per SNY.

Kakko admitted he was unhappy not being in the lineup, but the pending restricted free agent said he doesn't think that'll play a role in his contract negotiations. He also said he likes playing in New York.

Head coach Gerard Gallant also spoke Monday, elaborating on his staff's choice to sit Kakko.

"Trying to win a hockey game, just dressing my lineup," he said.

Gallant added: "We love the kid, he's a good player ... but we just thought the best lineup was trying to win that game."

Kakko was a member of the Rangers' "Kid Line" in the playoffs. He logged two goals and three assists in 19 postseason contests.

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Rangers' Kakko aiming to use Game 6 scratch as motivation
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