Rangers Offense Rewards Shesterkin With First NHL Win

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It was an exciting night at MSG for many reasons. Yes, the Rangers were playing, but it was also the NHL debut of highly touted goalie prospect Igor Shesterkin. The 24-year-old Russian, who was drafted way back in 2014, made 29 saves against one of the league’s best offenses to help propel the Rangers to a 5-3 victory.

Chris Kreider – The veteran winger got his 13th of the season in the middle of the first period, cutting the Rangers deficit in half. After two Colorado goals, on which Shesterkin had no chance, the Rangers took advantage of a Joonas Donskoi holding penalty when Kreider redirected Ryan Strome’s hard pass between the legs of Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer.

Kreider’s future on Broadway remains unknown, with the Rangers possibly trading the forward at this year’s NHL trade deadline. But with that being said, Kreider playing well is good both for the Rangers now, and if they do in fact trade the long-time Ranger.

Mika Zibanejad – It was another strong offensive performance for the All-Star hopeful, with the Swede registering a goal and an assist in the Rangers victory. Zibanejad’s goal tied the game at two in the first period when he directed Tony DeAngelo’s partially blocked pass into the net.

Tonight’s goal gave Zibanejad five over his last six games, as the Swedish center continues to show just how good he is.

Brady Skjei – The Rangers defenseman gave the Blueshirts a 3-2 lead in the second period, hammering a one-timer from the point past Phillip Grubauer. The goal was Skjei’s sixth of the season, as the Rangers defenseman continues to try and improve his overall game.

Ryan Strome – Despite some fans saying Strome isn’t very good, the forward keeps chugging along, scoring the eventual game-winner with a second period goal just two minutes after Colorado tied the game at three. After Artemiy Panarin’s shot was knocked down in front, Jesper Fast found the loose puck and slid it over to Strome, who just had to put the puck into the yawning cage. The goal was Strome’s 12th of the season, who also added an assist, and now has 39 points in 42 games.

Artemiy Panarin – The Bread Man delivered the dagger with an empty-net bullseye from the red line to seal the two points for David Quinn’s squad. Panarin added two assists to his goal, and the Russian phenom has 58 points on the season.

Igor Shesterkin – Despite giving up three goals to one of the NHL’s best offenses, Igor Shesterkin looked solid in net. On all three Colorado goals, the young Russian had no chance to make the save. A great redirect at the side of the net, a breakaway for one of the NHL’s stars, and a tap-in at the side of the net accounted for the lone blemishes on an otherwise fantastic night for the Moscow native. Perhaps most impressive was his ability to refocus after the Avalanche jumped out to their 2-0 lead, and the 24-year-old looked fantastic for the rest of the game. Cheers on your first win, Igor, and here’s to many more!

Next Game: The Rangers are back in action on Thursday night when they host the Devils at MSG. Puck drops at 7!


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