“I knew it was coming eventually,” Tanner Glass said, a tired smile across his face.

What the Rangers’ rugged forward knew was the questions about his place in the lineup were inevitable, and all the more pressing after a game like Monday night, when he took two bad penalties en route to a 3-2 loss to the Stars in Dallas that ended the Blueshirts’ eight-game winning streak.

“If you’re having up-and-down games, and your play starts to have waves to it, ebbs and flows, then you’ve put yourself in danger of coming out of the lineup,” Glass said after Tuesday’s practice. “So you try to be consistent, try to make yourself useful to the team every night. But when you have a night like [Monday] night, when I probably hurt the team more than I helped, it’s not a lot of fun.”

It would still be somewhat surprising if Glass weren’t in the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla., the Rangers’ annual New Year’s Eve visit there. For one reason or another, coach Alain Vigneault has seemingly set aside roster spots for Glass and veteran Lee Stempniak, even if he’s not willing to concede that’s the case.

“I would say [Glass] brings an element of physicality that we don’t have a lot of,” Vigneault said when asked a direct question about Glass’ role on the team. “Like what I said about Lee, he’s got to earn his regular spot on the team, like anybody else.”

It’s true Glass is one of the few physical players on the Rangers (19-11-4), an element of their game that seems to be lacking. Although Monday’s game got chippy at times, the Blueshirts recorded only 15 total hits, the team-leader being 5-foot-5 Mats Zuccarello.