Per the always amazing Andrew Gross, the Rangers will be sitting the below players tonight:
Looks like Kevin Klein Tanner Glass Raphael Diaz Jayson Megna and Oscar Lindberg out tonight for Rangers.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) September 28, 2015
Not really sure what to make about Glass sitting, though. Emerson Etem (who is making the team) and Jarret Stoll are probably the two forwards getting the hardest looks tonight, although it remains to be seen if the two are battling for the 12th forward spot or if Stoll is battling for his roster spot. My guess is it's the former but I'm being optimistic.
Dylan McIlrath getting the nod over both Klein and Diaz is a little telling, too. Maybe he's really pushing for that sixth spot on the opening night roster.
Thoughts on this?
EDIT: The following is Mike's take on tonight's roster.
Both Andrew Gross and Steve Zipay are reporting that Klein, Glass, Diaz, Megna, and Lindberg are out of the lineup tonight. The exclusion of those five players means that we know who the Rangers will be dressing for tonight's preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.
Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Emerson Etem, Viktor Stalberg, Dominic Moore, Jesper Fast, Jarret Stoll, and Kevin Hayes
Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Keith Yandle, Dan Boyle, Dylan McIlrath
Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta (the only two goaltenders still in camp)
Per Andrew Gross' tweets this morning the Rangers line combinations and defensive pairings for tonight's tilt will likely be as follows:
It's a safe bet that we'll see Antti Raanta get the start tonight for the Rangers after Lundqvist played two periods against the Devils in the Blueshirts' 4-3 regulation win on Saturday night. Raanta will have the closest thing to an NHL-caliber defense in front of him for the first time all preseason, so we should get a better idea of what he really looks like. With that being said, he's looked solid thus far and has deservedly won the job of the Rangers' backup goaltender for the 2015-16 season.
It's pretty surprising to see that Oscar Lindberg won't be dressing tonight for the Rangers. However, Lindberg has dressed in all of the Rangers' preseason games thus far which is probably why he isn't in the lineup tonight. Jarret Stoll will be skating on the fourth line with Dominic Moore and Emerson Etem which makes the Rangers' fourth line the group of forwards that everyone should have their eyes on. Stoll by no means is a lock to make this Rangers' lineup, especially with the outstanding play of Oscar Lindberg in training camp and in the preseason, so he will need to work hard tonight to prove. There is an outside chance that Lindberg has already won a spot with his exemplary preseason play and that Stoll and Glass are now competing for the last available spot in the Rangers' bottom six. It goes without saying that Jayson Megna will not make the opening night roster even with his very strong showing in the preseason.
But really, tonight's game will be all about Dylan McIlrath. With Diaz and Klein out we'll see McIlrath get another chance to prove himself after playing his strongest game of the preseason on Saturday against the Devils. McIlrath blocked several big shots and his positioning looked dramatically better than it did earlier on in the preseason. What McIlrath needs to do to stay with the Rangers is something that only the men in suits know, but he is beginning to look like a solid option as a seventh defenseman which means that the Rangers might consider moving a contract on their blue line before the season starts... but let's not get ahead of ourselves here just yet. If McIlrath plays a strong game tonight against the physical Flyers we might enter the final game of the preseason with even more question marks than we have coming into tonight's game.
The Rangers lost their first meeting with the Flyers in the preseason thanks to some highly suspect penalty killing and some bombs from the Flyers' blue line. Tonight the Rangers will be looking to improve their preseason record to 3-1-1 before they wrap up their preseason schedule when they host Boston at MSG on the 30th.
Thanks for reading, let's go Rangers.