New York Rangers lineup vs Bruins: Gustav Rydahl huge opportunity to win spot

The New York Rangers will square off against the Boston Bruins in their fifth of six preseason games tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Igor Shesterkin has already been announced as the starter and is expected to go the distance. Jaroslav Halak will back him up and likely play the final preseason game against the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

In 71:41 of exhibition action, Shesterkin has stopped 36 of 39 shots for a save percentage of .923 to go with a GAA of 2.51.

UPDATE: Jaroslav Halak starts despite New York Rangers listed Igor Shesterkin as the starter. Apparently, he has a stomach issue.

Game and broadcast info below in bold and italics.

DATEVS.BROADCAST INFORESULT
Monday, Sept. 26 (7:00 PM)   NYIMSG, MSGSN, NHLN, ESPN 98.7W, 4-1
Tuesday, Sept. 27 (7:00 PM)@BOSMSG, NESN+, NHLN, ESPN 98.7L, 3-2(OT)
Thursday, Sept. 29 (7:00 PM)NJMSG, MSGSN, NHLN, ESPN 98.7L, 5-2
Friday, Sept. 30 (7:00 PM)@NJMSG, MSGSN, NHLN, ESPN 98.7W, 2-1
Wednesday, Oct. 5 (7:00 PM)BOSTNT, ESPN 98.7
Saturday, Oct. 8 (7:00 PM)@NYIMSG
New York Rangers 2022-23 preseason schedule

Gustav Rydahl to center Rangers 4th line

GUSTAV RYDAHL
Sep 30, 2022; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Nikita Okhotiuk (82) and New York Rangers center Gustav Rydahl (15) battle for the puck during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s New York Rangers lineup gives fans a glimpse as to what the opening night roster may look like.

  • Kreider – Zibanejad – Vesey
  • Panarin – Trocheck – Kravtsov
  • Lafrenière – Chytil – Kakko
  • Blais – Rydahl – Goodrow
  • Miller – Trouba
  • Jones – Schneider
  • Hajek – Bartkowski
  • Shesterkin
  • Halak

Jimmy Vesey is on a PTO and is being given serious consideration to make the team. In three preseason games, he’s recorded a goal and two assists. Vesey played primarily as a left wing but is being used on the right side with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider tonight.

This game will also mark the first time Vincent Trocheck will center Artemi Panarin in an exhibition contest. Hopefully those two can translate their chemistry in practice to a solid performance against the Bruins. The Rangers made a huge decision and commitment to replace Ryan Strome with Trocheck by giving him a seven-year deal.

The Kid Line is staying together for now, but Gerard Gallant hinted that may not be the case to start the season.

“Maybe we’ll break up the Kid Line and spot somebody up [on the first line],” he said. “Honestly, we’re not 100% sure yet but we’ve got a good feeling. We’ll wait and see how things shake out.”

Gustav Rydahl is getting a huge opportunity to win the fourth line center role over Ryan Carpenter.

Rydahl, 28, signed as a free agent out of Sweden on a one-year, one-way contract and is waivers exempt. He’s a solid big man that is mature enough to play in the NHL and made a huge impression in the team’s last game. He registered an assist on K’Andre Miller’s game-winner versus the Devils and will look to build upon that tonight, centering Sammy Blais and Barclay Goodrow.

“When I’m sitting down with (GM) Chris Drury and his staff,” Gallant explained. “We’re looking at a guy like Rydahl, that we don’t know very well, but has played very well. It’s a tough decision to make.”

On defense, there’s no surprises with K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba being paired together. Zac Jones has all but secured the third left defense spot with Braden Schneider as they’re paired again. It also looks like Libor Hajek and Matt Bartkowski, who is also on a PTO, are battling it out for the 7th defenseman spot.

New York Rangers preseason notes:

  • Jimmy Vesey leads the team with 3 points (1G – 2A)
  • Three Rangers are tied with 2 goals each
    • Alexis Lafrenière
    • K’Andre Miller
    • Chris Kreider
  • Filip Chytil leads with 12 shots on goal
  • Jaroslav Halak leads all NYR goalies with a .99 GAA and a .967 SV%

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