Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko skates during training camp in...

Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko skates during training camp in Tarrytown, N.Y. on Thursday. Credit: Errol Anderson

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – When he spoke to reporters on Wednesday, the day before the Rangers were to have their first scrimmages of Training Camp 2022, coach Gerard Gallant promised he wouldn’t change too much from what worked so well last season.

And one of the things Gallant opted to keep the same on Day 1 of camp was the Blueshirts’ third line in last year’s playoffs, the Kid Line of Alexis Lafrenière, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko.

“They're talented players and they feel comfortable playing with each other,’’ Gallant said. “I don't know where it's going to be in the exhibition games, or Game 1 of the regular season. We'll see how our lineup looks and how things shake out. But if they're starting together, I'm happy with it. They're a good line.’’

Kakko, for one, was happy the line was back together for the first day of camp.

“I think we just know each other (and) I think we play almost like the same style,’’ he said. “I like to play with those guys.’’

There was a general assumption the three would be split up, with Kakko, 21, and Lafrenière, 20, playing on the top two lines – and Lafrenière switching from left wing to right wing. But there is something to be said for not fixing something that isn’t broken, and Lafrenière said he doesn’t care who he plays with or what wing he plays on.

“I always say it, I can play with everyone, everywhere,’’ he said. “Right, left wing … it doesn't matter to me. I'm ready to play for the team and wherever I'm playing, I'll try my best to play some good hockey.’’

Shesterkin shows frustration

Goaltender Igor Shesterkin came up limping and favoring his right leg after several players made contact with him in the morning scrimmage. He slammed his stick into the glass in frustration, but stayed in and continued to play.

It was the second time in the scrimmage Shesterkin got hit. Adam Sykora, the team’s second-round pick in this summer’s draft, gently bumped him earlier while going after a loose puck in the slot.

Sykora said he was chasing after the puck and Shesterkin came well out of his crease to play it, which caught the 18-year-old by surprise. Sykora said he couldn’t stop in time to avoid the goalie.

“I just didn't expect that he would do that,’’ Sykora said. “I'm very sorry for that because I'm not that player who just goes to the net and just does something to the goalie. And especially in this (scrimmage) game.’’

He said he apologized to Shesterkin after the scrimmage.

Blais relieved after first day

Forward Sammy Blais, who suffered a torn ACL last November, said he was a “little rusty,’’ but he was glad to get the first day behind him.

“I was a little stressed out this morning for before it all started, but the first day is over now and it was my first -- not real game, but (competitive scrimmage) in almost in 10 months,’’ he said.

Goodrow sits out

Barclay Goodrow, who is coming off a broken ankle that hobbled him in the playoffs, practiced fully, but won’t play in the intrasquad scrimmages. However, Goodrow said he expects to play in preseason games.

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