Gardiner skated with Travis Dermott, not Nikita Zaitsev, at practice Wednesday.

Gardiner has alternated good and bad play, so putting him down on the third pairing could be a way to diminish the team's exposure when he does something bad. Or it could just be an experiment that doesn't last beyond Wednesday. Gardiner is struggling through a period of depressed output -- he has just six assists in his last 20 games. And he hasn't scored a goal since Dec. 4.

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