Igor Shesterkin catalyst for New York Rangers turnaround

igor shesterkin
Dec 12, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) blocks a penalty shot by New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers were down 3-1 to the Devils on Monday night when Igor Shesterkin provided the spark they needed to extend their winning streak to four straight games.

After Braden Schneider let Jack Hughes get behind him, it forced a trip and a penalty shot for New Jersey’s leading scorer. The young star scored on an odd man rush a few minutes earlier with a deftly skilled backhand over Shesterkin’s glove.

Knowing that another goal at this stage in the contest would likely mean a loss, Shesterkin put his focus into overdrive and waited out the talented Hughes.

A quick flash of his left skate knocked the puck away and Shesterkin’s record on penalty shots remained perfect (0-3).

New York would tie the game with two quick goals seven seconds apart off the momentum gained by that save and eventually won it in overtime.

Igor Shesterkin leading Rangers turnaround

Igor Shesterkin
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t that long ago after back to back loss to the Edmonton Oilers and these same New Jersey Devils in late November that Igor brutally criticized himself.

“The goalie played a s–t game again,” Shesterkin said via the NY Post. “I’m ashamed.”

While the reigning Vezina Trophy winner has not played up to last year’s standards he’s still been very good and the catalyst for the Rangers recent winning streak.

According to NHL Stats, here’s how Shesterkin’s numbers rank from December 5 to December 12 versus other goalies who have played at least three games.

  • WINS: 4 (Tied 1st)
  • GAA: 2.19 (4th)
  • SV%: .929 (5th)
  • SAVES: 117 (2nd)

This season, the 26 year-old is 14-4-4 with a GAA of 2.52 and SV% of .916 to date. Even more impressive are his numbers on the road, where he has yet to lose in regulation (8-0-1, 2.09 GAA, .930 SV%).

“Everybody knows how I can play. I tried to reach that again and try to forget about last season. Just keep my focus on this year. I hope it’ll be a better year for our team.” 

Igor Shesterkin via NY Post

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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