Rangers go back to Shesterkin for Sabres tonight; lineup in doubt due to COVID testing

By Anthony Scultore
Apr 1, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) deflects a shot as New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes the save during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers vs Sabres: The Blueshirts will look to make it two wins in a row. They take on the Buffalo Sabres with Igor Shesterkin back in net. As for the rest of the lineup, David Quinn can’t confirm until results of COVID tests come in. Despite recent vaccination, COVID protocol rules remain essentially the same.

Rangers: 24-18-6 (54 pts)
Sabres: 13-28-7 (33 pts)

(6:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM)

Rangers vs Sabres: Igor Shesterkin to make 30th appearance of the season

Igor Shesterkin is back in between the pipes and will be making his 30th appearance of the year. The 25 year-old rookie has had quite the season despite a slow start. In 19 of his 26 starts he’s posted a .900 SV% or better per NYR Stats & Info.

rangers vs sabres
Igor Shesterkin (Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

For his career against the Sabres, Igor’s stats are also outstanding. In 4 contests, he is 3-0-1 with a spectacular .921 SV% and a 1.90 GAA. He’s never given up more than two goals to Buffalo in a game.

On the Jacob Trouba front, David Quinn says he’s getting better but remains out. Including this contest, the Rangers have lost 80 man-power games this season due to injury.

Pre Game Notes

  • All-Time vs Sabres: 81-79-25-6 (45-31-15-3 at home; 36-48-10-3 on the road)
  • Ryan Strome is just 2 points away from 300 in his NHL career.
  • The Blueshirts have tallied five power play goals in the last five games (5-for-15; 33.3%), 10 power play goals in the last 12 games (10-for-30; 33.3%), 17 power play goals in the last 18 games (17-for-52; 32.7%), and 19 power play goals in the last 21 games (19-for-62; 30.6%).
  • Since Mar. 22, the Blueshirts’ 32.7% power play efficiency is the second-best in the NHL.
  • The Rangers were 2-for-2 (2:39) on Apr. 23 vs. Philadelphia.
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 29 of the last 41 games (105-for-121; 86.8%), including 23 of the last 34 games (83-for-98; 84.7%).
  • New York is tied for fourth in the NHL in penalty kill efficiency this season (84.1%).
  • The Rangers rank third in the NHL in shorthanded goals in 2020-21 (seven).

Notes courtesy NYR

NHL Divisional Playoff Predictions

The playoffs are coming. Check out my predictions using betting info from OddsShark and MoneyPuck.

Latest NHL Rumors

Catch up on today’s latest NHL Rumors. Read it all here.