Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider, center, celebrates his goal with left...

Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider, center, celebrates his goal with left wing Sammy Blais and right wing Julien Gauthier in the first period of an NHL game against the Blues at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 5. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Braden Schneider’s four goals entering Monday’s game against the Devils at Madison Square Garden were the second-most on the Rangers among defensemen behind Adam Fox’s seven.

Schneider, 21, insisted that although all of his goals had come within the last 10 games, it doesn’t mean he is going out of his way to try to score.

“No, I don’t think about it,’’ he said after the Rangers’ practice Sunday. “I’ll just keep playing simple. Play hard, and if I can shoot the puck, I’ll shoot the puck.’’

Schneider scored the Rangers’ only goal in regulation in their 2-1 shootout win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. It came when he joined the rush, took a drop pass from Artemi Panarin and beat former teammate Alexandar Georgiev to tie the score at 1-1 in the second period.

The second-year player, who was playing in his 73rd career game Monday, said he doesn’t always join the rush but waits to make sure that is the appropriate play.

“I’m picking my spots,’’ he said. “If I see that there’s backcheckers coming hard . . .  I’m not going to jump in between a loop that’s tight and small, and the odds of me getting the puck aren’t very good. I like to play safe and keep the guys in front of me if I can.

“But if there’s an opening and I feel like I can have a good chance getting the puck, then I do enjoy jumping in.’’

He said his recent success has him brimming with confidence.

"I would say yeah, it’s probably at an all-time high right now,’’ he said. “I’m feeling good about myself [and I’m] feeling good about how our team is playing right now. So yeah, I’m feeling confident.’’

Schneider’s play earned him a promotion to the second defense pair in Monday’s game. Jacob Trouba made a couple of costly turnovers in the first period, prompting coach Gerard Gallant to change things up. Trouba got moved down to the third pair, partnering with Libor Hajek, and Schneider moved up to the second pair, partnering with K’Andre Miller.

Changing the defense pairs was part of the moves Gallant made after the Rangers fell behind 2-0 before the game was five minutes old. He also swapped his centers on the top two lines, putting Mika Zibanejad, who started the game between wingers Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko, between Artemi Panarin and Barclay Goodrow. Filip Chytil took Zibanejad’s spot between Lafreniere and Kakko.

Chytil ended up scoring at 2:15 of overtime to give the Rangers a 4-3 win. Kakko scored at 14:05 of the second period to tie it at 3-3.

Kravtsov scratched again

Gallant stayed with the same lineup he used the previous two games, which meant that 21-year-old forward Vitali Kravtsov was a healthy scratch for a third straight game, along with D Ben Harpur.

More Rangers

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME