Rangers center Barclay Goodrow sets before a face-off against the...

Rangers center Barclay Goodrow sets before a face-off against the Bruins in the first period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 19. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Three games ago, Barclay Goodrow was playing on the Rangers’ second line, skating on the right wing with Vincent Trocheck and Chris Kreider. He played 20 shifts, a total of 14 minutes, 47 seconds in the Rangers’ 4-3 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden over the Vancouver Canucks.

Now, when the Rangers face Vancouver again Wednesday, Goodrow will be in a different spot, playing left wing on the fourth line with Jake Leschyshyn and Julien Gauthier. It’s part of the effects of last Thursday’s big trade, in which GM Chris Drury acquired sniper Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola from St. Louis.

And Goodrow isn’t bothered by it at all.

“I mean, it's a team sport,’’ Goodrow said after Tuesday’s practice at Rogers Arena. “I've had a taste of winning in this league, and what it feels like to win. And I'm willing to sacrifice as much as I need to. I just want to get this team there. So if that means playing on the fourth line, or [the coaches] reducing my minutes, or whatever it may be… It's whatever's best for the team. It's going to help us win games, and I'm all for that.’’

Coach Gerard Gallant has changed his lines a lot and Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey are the two players he believes he can plug in anywhere in the lineup. On any given night, Gallant will deploy either on the first line, the fourth line, left wing, right wing (or, in Goodrow’s case, sometimes center), depending on the team’s needs that game.

“He's on the fourth line, but he's not a fourth-line player in my eyes,’’ Gallant said of Goodrow. “So [his being on the fourth line], that's saying something about our team. It's a good thing to have.’’

Goodrow ended up on the fourth line because Tarasenko, upon his arrival, was put on the first line. That initially dropped both Vesey and Goodrow to the fourth line, with Vitali Kravtsov taking a spot on the second line for Friday’s game against Seattle. On Saturday, Gallant scratched Kravtsov and put Vesey in the second-line right wing spot.

Goodrow remained on the fourth line, but Gallant  still played him 13:24 Saturday, 91 seconds less than his average of 14:55, as he moved him up higher in the lineup for shifts late in the game when he needed a defensive presence on one of the top lines with the Rangers  protecting a lead.

“’Goody’ comes and plays,’’ Gallant said. “He's not going to complain about anything. He wants our team to win, and when trades happen, people get slotted in different spots. And you know, [Wednesday] night, he might be up on the first line. That's the way it goes, with… the way I move guys around in different spots.

“And he knows he's a valuable guy to me, and he’s known that from day one,’’ Gallant said. “We put him in different situations, killing penalties. Late in hockey games, he's always on the ice. So he's an important guy.’’

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