Rangers players celebrate a goal by center Vincent Trocheck against...

Rangers players celebrate a goal by center Vincent Trocheck against the Golden Knights in the first period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden on Friday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Starting backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak in the final game before the All-Star break was always the plan for the Rangers, coach Gerard Gallant said late Friday night after Halak made 33 saves in a 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden.

“Everything’s fine,’’ Gallant said. “We have two goalies and he’s played well. I mean, hasn’t he won five in a row?’’

Halak has indeed won five straight starts, though Friday was the first time he won at the Garden this season. After an 0-5-1 beginning to his Rangers career, he arrived at the break 6-6-1. The Rangers reached the break with a 27-14-8 record, going 15-4-3 in their last 22 games.

They won this one because of Halak and because they were able to protect a 2-1 lead in the third period. They could not protect the same lead Wednesday in Toronto, a game in which they allowed the tying goal late in the period and lost, 3-2, in overtime.

This time they got an insurance goal from the red-hot Filip Chytil with 5:40 remaining to open a 3-1 lead. Jimmy Vesey scored an empty-net goal from inside his own defensive right circle with 1:24 remaining.

“I thought we kept pushing a little bit,’’ Jacob Trouba said in comparing this game with Wednesday’s. “Obviously, the Fil goal helped . . . I think that goal obviously helped take a little bit of the — I don’t want to say ‘pressure,’ but obviously having a two-goal lead is better than a one-goal lead.’’

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead on goals late in the first period by the Chris Kreider-Vincent Trocheck-Barclay Goodrow line.

Kreider, playing in his 700th game, scored his 20th goal at 16:08 when Trocheck’s backhand shot bounced in off his leg. Trocheck made it 2-0 at 19:17 when he swept in Goodrow’s pass from behind the net for his 14th goal.

The Kreider-Trocheck-Goodrow line got put together Wednesday in Toronto when Gallant swapped Kreider in on that line for Vesey in an effort to get Kreider off the same line with Artemi Panarin and back on left wing. On Friday, the line was perhaps the Rangers’ most effective. According to the analytics site Natural Stat Trick, the trio outshot its opposing line 8-3 and produced five scoring chances.

The Rangers also got some more fine work out of their Kid Line of Chytil, Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko. Chytil’s goal was his fourth and the line’s fifth in three games.

But Halak was the Rangers’ best player Friday. He gave up a terrible goal in the second period to Phil Kessel, who scored from a virtually impossible angle, firing a shot from along the goal line that somehow squeezed in between Halak’s pad and the goalpost at 4:57. But he made an outstanding save on Keegan Kolesar with 7:52 remaining in the period to preserve the lead and made several other great saves as well.

“The only goal they scored, that’s one maybe I want to get back, but the guys did a good job after that and didn’t give them very much,’’ Halak said.

Halak was asked if it was important to him to get the start with the Rangers facing an eight-day break coming up before they return to practice Feb. 5.

“I wasn’t thinking about it,’’ he said. “If I got the start, if I didn’t get the start, so be it. I would come after the break, have a good practice and see where it goes after that. But I’m glad that I got the start, I got the first win at home and now we can enjoy the break.’’

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