Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant during practice on Sept. 25.

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant during practice on Sept. 25. Credit: Noah K. Murray

The NHL regular season is a week-and-a-half away for the Rangers, and first-year coach Gerard Gallant seems anxious to get it started.

Saturday’s preseason game in Boston against the Bruins represented the last of the experimenting with his lineup for Gallant. Two preseason games remain – Wednesday at the Garden against the Devils and next Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn., against the Islanders – and Gallant promised that those games will look a lot different than what the Blueshirts have shown so far.

"You'll pretty well see our full team for the next two games,’’ he said Saturday morning before the Rangers headed to Boston. "Real close to it . . . And that was the plan all along.’’

Gallant said there really weren’t that many jobs available when the Rangers came to training camp, and now that the preseason is winding down, it is time to finalize the roster and start getting ready for the regular-season opener Oct. 13 in Washington.

"I think if you really look at it, the team was pretty close to picked -- like every other NHL team -- three months ago,’’ he said. "There's 23 spots on your roster and probably 21 of those spots are already taken before we started. Everybody knows that. That's the way it works when you’ve got a salary cap, and (guaranteed) contracts.’’

The Rangers were down to 34 players in camp Saturday, and they’ll likely reduce that number before the team reconvenes in Rhode Island for two days of practice, beginning Monday. Forward Vitali Kravtsov’s lower-body injury is a slight wrinkle – he was supposed to play Saturday before he was forced to leave Friday’s game early – but Gallant insisted Kravtsov’s status is day-to-day, and the injury is not a big deal.

If that is true, then he would surely be among the top 12 forwards on the roster, and the only question would be which of four players – Greg McKegg, Dryden Hunt, Julien Gauthier and Morgan Barron – will claim the 13th and 14th forward spots.

The two goalies are set, with a pair of 25-year-old Russians, Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev holding down the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, but the situation on defense is interesting. Gallant has said the top two defense pairs – Adam Fox-Ryan Lindgren and Jacob Trouba-K’Andre Miller – are set, and on Saturday he said free agent signee Patrik Nemeth is "100 percent’’ going to be the fifth defenseman.

But there is a battle to be Nemeth’s partner, the sixth defenseman.

The early favorite to win that job had been Nils Lundkvist, the 2018 first round pick who was chosen the best defenseman in the Swedish league last season and who came to North America this season. But while Gallant said Saturday that Lundkvist is adjusting to the smaller NHL rinks and has played well, he said it would not be fair to say Lundkvist was the frontrunner for the job.

Everyone still on the roster – Libor Hajek, Jarred Tinordi, Zac Jones, Braden Schneider, Matthew Robertson and Lundkvist – is a candidate, Gallant said. Hajek was the sixth defenseman last season, and Jones and Schneider have looked really good so far in the preseason.

"There's a bunch of guys right there for that spot,’’ Gallant said.

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