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Rangers enter NHL All-Star break in good place — but it won’t get easier

The Rangers will need to soak up as much of this recuperation period through the All-Star break in order to prepare for their final 33 games of the regular season.

There will be nothing easy about the nine weeks leading up to the start of the playoffs on April 17. Every game will matter, especially against teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers know they can’t take any nights off, Ryan Lindgren told The Post recently. Even the slightest slide would have detrimental postseason implications.

Team confidence and morale should be at its peak, however, considering how the Blueshirts changed direction on the impending fate they were facing two months ago.

“I’m happy with where we’re at,” head coach Gerard Gallant said after the win over Vegas. “Since the last break we’ve — I don’t know what our record is — but it seems like it’s pretty good. We’ve played well. We haven’t played perfectly like we did last year at times, but we’re still finding ways to win hockey games. It’s coming, it’s a work in progress for us, but I like the position we’re [in] and the way we’re playing.”

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The Rangers went 8-3-3 between the holiday break and the All-Star break, collecting 18 points over that span to remain in third place in the division behind only the Hurricanes and Devils. There were certainly points left on the table that should’ve been obtainable, such as the most recent overtime loss to the Maple Leafs, but there were also some statement victories, like the two wins over the Panthers and the one against Carolina.

In their 33 remaining regular-season games, the Rangers have their work cut out for them. Eighteen contests on the road. Thirteen against teams in the Metro, including three against the division-leading Hurricanes. Eight (8!) sets of back-to-back games. It’ll be an absolute grind to maintain position in a division where there are few opportunities to pull ahead.

The first road trip of the final stretch of the season kicks off on Feb. 11 in Carolina before the Rangers head straight to Vancouver, where they’ll practice for two days before facing the Canucks on Feb. 15. They then play the very next night in Edmonton and will finish the road trip in Calgary.

Going from playing the top team in the NHL, the Bruins, to one of the worst, the Canadiens, in mid-March will be a difficult swing in competition. After those contests, the Rangers will have a back-to-back set in Buffalo and Pittsburgh on March 11 and 12.

The Rangers have had a stellar record on the road this season, however, having gone 14-5-4. Only the Devils and Hurricanes have lost fewer away games. It’ll be imperative to maintain their competitiveness on the road.

for the NY POST

Aside from Igor Shesterkin, Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox, who will all participate in All-Star Weekend, the Rangers will have eight days to gear up for their second-half push. They’re going to need every bit of each one.

“Be ready to come back,” captain Jacob Trouba said. “I think we put ourselves in a decent spot, could be a better spot. We want to continue building our game and growing as a team.”