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The Pre-Season Plan For Lundqvist And Talbot

by Jim Cerny / New York Rangers

The top two goaltenders on the Rangers organizational depth chart--Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot--will both be in uniform Monday night when the Blueshirts host the Devils in their pre-season opener at Madison Square Garden at 7 pm. Lundqvist will start and play half the game before giving way to Talbot.

Head coach Alain Vigneault stated after the morning skate that this will be one of four appearances Lundqvist will make during the pre-season, and one of three for Talbot. The plan is for Lundqvist to play two full games and two half games, while Talbot will play one full contest and half of two others. The Rangers will play six pre-season games, three at The Garden and three on the road.

Vigneault drew laughs at his morning press briefing when he added that "Benny's French goaltender" will also play a full game during the pre-season. He was referring to goaltending coach Benoit Allaire and new addition Cedric Desjardins, who signed as a free agent this past summer and is currently third on the depth chart.

The other goalies in camp are Jason Missiaen, Mackenzie Skapski, and Brandon Halverson, the team's top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.

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Vigneault also shared his plan for cutting down the roster over the next couple of weeks.

The current 63-man roster will be trimmed following Wednesday's rookie game against the Devils. Vigneault said at that time, many of the long-range prospects -- like Halverson, for example--will be returned to their junior teams.

The Rangers then will have two large groups of players battling for spots on what is expected to be the team's 22-man opening night roster. The next round of cuts will come after the back-to-back pre-season games against the Flyers on September 29 and 30. At that point AV expects to have "30ish" players remaining in camp for the final two pre-season contests, which will be played on October 3 and 4.

The team should have its roster in place by Monday October 6 with the season opening up in St. Louis three days later.

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