Rangers Recap: Igor Shesterkin pulled by concussion spotter, dominates in win
The New York Rangers played their first game in two weeks by taking on the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden.
It would take 65 minutes and nine shootout rounds to determine a winner thanks to Igor Shesterkin and K’Andre Miller.
Recap: Rangers 2 vs Bruins 1 (SO)
The first period was about the Blueshirts shaking off the rust. That became painfully evident 3:39 into the game when Charlie Coyle beat Igor Shesterkin. Barclay Goodrow gave up the puck in the neutral zone and Coyle fed Craig Smith, who took a shot in the slot that Shesterkin stopped. Unfortunately, there was no Ranger picking up Coyle putting home the rebound.
New York would not get their first shot until Ryan Reaves blased one from the blue-line 12:15 in. The Rangers started to find their timing and skating legs playing a more competitive period. Boston outshot the Blueshirts 8-2 in the opening stanza.
“Not enough pucks on net and that’ll be our focus in the second,” Adam Fox said during the intermission.
Swayman difference in second period
The second period was a much different story with the Rangers coming at the Bruins in waves.
Jeremy Swayman was tested often and stood tall. The Blueshirts threw 15 shots his way which also leveled the shots at 17 apiece through two periods.
“The first 10 minutes weren’t great but the last 30 minutes we’ve been good,” Ryan Strome said. “Not a bad (second period), so hopefully we can find a way to bang one in here.”
Chytil ties it
In the third period, both sides battled hard with the Bruins continuing to clog the middle of the ice.
Then on a borderline offside play, Filip Chytil straddled the blue-line by dragging his skate. He took a Dryden Hunt pass and came in on Swayman down the right side. His first shot was stopped, but Chytil stuck with it putting home the rebound.
The Rangers and Bruins did their best to break the tie, but both goalies were excellent. After 60 minutes, these teams were headed to overtime.
Shesterkin dominates, Miller wins it
New York was all over Boston in the OT session when Smith ran over Shesterkin with 2:12 remaining getting an interference call. Alexis Lafrenière came in right away and took it straight to Smith picking up a roughing call.
After the collision, MSG cameras zoomed in on Shesterkin, who was blinking and looking like he was adjusting his eyes. The puck dropped and play continued with Shesterkin even making a save.
Things got strange with around 40 seconds left. The league’s concussion spotter forced Shesterkin to be pulled. The goalie skated away from trainer Jim Ramsey initially denying the request to come off. As he was leaving the ice, Shesterkin slammed his stick against the glass in anger almost vowing he’d be back.
“I don’t know who called it,” Gerard Gallant said about the concussion pull. “He was outstanding, both goalies were great.”
Alexandar Georgiev finished the OT, but before the shootout began Shesterkin came charging out of the tunnel to the roar of the Garden Faithful.
“When I came back out, the fans gave me so much energy,” Shesterkin said. “I couldn’t do anything else but save the game.”
It took nine rounds as both Swayman and Shesterkin put on a show. The game ended with K’Andre Miller using a nice deke to give the Rangers a rousing win.
“Hopefully it will be last, my nerves were bumping through my chest,” Miller joked. “I had a little something planned out in my head and I’m glad it worked.”
- Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 of 32 shots and 7 of 9 in the shootout
- Braden Schneider recorded an assist on the Chytil goal
- Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin scored on their shootout attempts
- K’Andre Miller scored on his first ever shootout attempt
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