Rangers starting Igor Shesterkin, Greg McKegg out for personal reasons, and more

Greg McKegg
Jan 8, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras (46) chases down New York Rangers center Greg McKegg (14) in the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers start a four-game road trip in Winnipeg facing the Jets. After the pre-game skate, head coach Gerard Gallant spoke to the press and confirmed Igor Shesterkin will get the nod in net.

This season, the 26 year-old goalie is 27-6-3. He’s also been running red-hot going 14-2-1 in his last 17 starts and earning a point in eight of the his last nine appearances (7-1-1).

Shesterkin’s .940 SV% ranks first overall in the league and his 1.96 GAA in good for second behind Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman’s 1.95 GAA. He’s only face the Jets once, a 4-1 victory where he posted a .977 SV%.

New York Rangers vs Winnipeg Jets lineup notes

igor shesterkin
Feb 20, 2022; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) shoots the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Shesterkin in goal means the lineup should look the same as it did against the New Jersey Devils. That’s because Kaapo Kakko and Kevin Rooney are on IR. Greg McKegg, who was scratched for the last game for being sick will miss the entire road trip.”

“Personal, and he’s not going to be on this trip,” Gerard Gallant said. “When you’re missing players it hurts your team.”

McKegg, 29, has 4 points in 34 games this season and was playing a key role on the PK. The Rangers called up Jonny Brodzinski recently, and he took McKegg’s lineup spot the next game.

“He’s come up with us before, he plays well, works hard, and does a good job,” Gallant said of Brodzinski. “Right now, we’ve got a lot of guys out.”

Brodzinski, 28, is leading the Wolf Pack in scoring but has no points in 6 games with the big club this season. However, his role is to fill in on the PK while regulars are out.

“It’s a next guy up mentality,” Brodzinski said. “We have (McKegg and Rooney) out, two very good penalty killers. I do a lot of it down in the American League, very similar systems, so I just tried to step in and help out.”

Defenseman Jacob Trouba, who played 6 seasons with the Jets after being drafted by them 9th overall in 2012 is making his second trip back. The last time the Rangers played in Winnipeg was pre-pandemic in February 2020, a 4-1 win.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been Winnipeg,” said Trouba. “I spent a long time here so it’s fun to get back.”

As for the long road trip, Gallant is not looking ahead.

“We take it one game at a time,” he said. “I’m not worried about winning all four, I’m worried about beating Winnipeg.”

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