Rangers open up preseason against Devils, lineup announced

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers salute the crowd 12-8

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

It’s finally time. After a very long summer of waiting, the Rangers will begin the preseason at Madison Square Garden on Monday Night against the New Jersey Devils. It is the first of six preseason games, and the first of a back-to-back series.

This year’s preseason contains a lot of interesting storylines, with players fighting for roster spots all over the lineup. The first two games will be key for them to make an impact and prove to the coaching staff why they should be on the roster.

Here is the Rangers lineup for Monday’s game against the Devils.

Forwards                                                                                        Goalies

Ryan Bourque                                                                                Magnus Hellberg

Luke Adam                                                                                     Antti Raanta

Jesper Fast                                                                                     Defensemen

Brian Gibbons                                                                                Dan Boyle

Tanner Glass                                                                                  Raphael Diaz

Marek Hrivik                                                                                  Dylan McIlrath

Chris Kreider                                                                                  Brady Skjei

Oscar Lindberg                                                                              Chris Summers

Jayson Megna                                                                               Keith Yandle

Dominic Moore

Viktor Stalberg

Derek Stepan

Vigneault assembled a nice mix of veterans, youngsters and guys fighting for spots in the NHL or AHL, opting to balance out his rosters for the playoff games.

Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Keith Yandle, Dominic Moore and Dan Boyle are the Rangers veterans who will dress on Monday Night.

Viktor Stalberg, who signed with the Rangers after his contract was bought out by the Predators, will don the Rangers sweater for the first time. His career really hasn’t gone the way he has hoped, and as Vigneault said, “you only get so many kicks at the can.” He can still be a quality bottom-six players, especially on the defensive and possession parts of the game.

Rookie defensemen Brady Skjei and Dylan McIlrath will have the chance to impress the coaches right out of the gate, starting in the first pre-season game of the season. Vigneault raved about the fitness and conditioning of Brady Skjei, who some believe are NHL ready now. Dylan McIlrath is practically at his last chance to crack the Rangers roster, and this preseason is extremely important for him. Expect both of them to be playing at their best.

Tanner Glass will be playing, and he needs to be really good. Last season, there wasn’t a lot of competition for his spot on the fourth line. Now, there’s Stalberg, Jarret Stoll, Emerson Etem, Oscar Lindberg, and others who could easily push him out of the lineup.

An interesting player to watch is Marek Hrivik, who had a very good camp and preseason last year, making it to the final round of cuts before the season began. The bottom six is wide open, and nobody is guaranteed spots, so watch out for Hrivik.

The two goalies for the back-to-back games are Magnus Hellberg and Antti Raanta. This afternoon, Vigneault told media that it’s an “open battle” for the backup spot. Many people, including myself, thought Raanta would be the clear-cut favorite for the backup role, because he has more experience. But the 6-foot-4 Hellberg will get a good chance to win an NHL job.

Posted on September 20, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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