Tuesday, March 21

Igor Shesterkin posts shutout in chippy win

NEW YORK — The Rangers believed it was a matter of when — not if — Igor Shesterkin would bust out of his mini-slump and regain the elite form he displayed for most of the season.

They had witnessed a heightened level of frustration and focus in the days leading up to Thursday’s game, which they saw as a good sign for them and a bad omen for the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.

That inkling was on target, as Shesterkin responded with a 30-save shutout in a 3-0 win at Madison Square Garden.

“He was excellent,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “People were worried about him. I wasn’t. He played really well tonight. He made some key saves at key times.”

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The Rangers’ defense did a solid job of limiting the Pens, who were playing without star center Sidney Crosby due to a non-COVID illness. But when they needed their 26-year-old goalie to make a big save, he had their back from him en route to his fourth shutout of the season.

Perhaps his best stop of the night came on a doorstep opportunity from Jake Guentzel toward the end of the second period, then he helped seal the win with 13 third-period saves, including a glove save on Kris Letang during a late power play.


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