Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin gets goalie hug, faces rival at NHL All-Star Skills

NHL: NHL All-Star Skills Competition
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO – As the lone New York Rangers representative taking part in the NHL All-Star skills competition here Friday, Igor Shesterkin tried to make the most of his one minute in the spotlight.

Shesterkin did just that, finishing just behind former Rangers teammate Alexandar Georgiev for the $100,000 prize in the One-On-One Challenge. It was the only event to include the eight All-Star goalies, who were picked by eight shooters for a 60-second breakaway competition.

In a fun twist, New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal selected Shesterkin with a nod to the Rangers rivalry with their Long Island counterpart.

“I was hoping [Shesterkin] would slide to me, not because of anything about him, just purely New York rivalry and I know he’s got the relationship with [Islanders goalie Ilya] Sorokin,” Barzal explained. “I thought it would be a fun thing.”

And it was.

Shesterkin allowed only four goals on 11 shots, with Barzal hitting iron twice. The Rangers goalie started strong with a pad save and blocker deflection before allowing a pair of goals in succession. Shesterkin regrouped and surrendered two goals on the final seven shots.

Just like that, Shesterkin’s night was over.

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Goalie hug, going one-on-one against rival highlights for Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin at NHL All-Star skills competition

In the final round, Georgiev turned in a stellar performance against Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid to win the goalie challenge. The former Blueshirt allowed only two goals on 11 shots, standing out with three successful poke checks.

“I just tried to get it and it worked the first time, so I was like I’ll try it the second time and then, OK, I’ll try it the third time,” Georgiev said with a smile. “Just play in the moment, I guess.”

His lack of success against the Colorado Avalanche goalie didn’t stop McDavid from winning the overall skills competition and the $1 million grand prize, however.

Before Shesterkin took to the ice, he did a goalie hug with Boston Bruins netminder Jeremy Swayman in the locker room. Swayman is known for the fun goalie hug with his goaltending partner in Boston, Linus Ullmark.

Shesterkin and Rangers teammate Vincent Trocheck, who didn’t take part in the skills competition, are on Team Matthews for the NHL All-Star Game on Saturday afternoon.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny