Rangers vs Capitals: Igor Shesterkin expected to start; no Vitali Kravtsov debut yet

Feb 8, 2021; New York, NY, USA; Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers prepares to play against the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on February 08, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers are skating this morning and early indications based on practice has Igor Shesterkin set to start. No lineup changes are expected as Vitali Kravtsov is skating on his own today. David Quinn and the Rangers are not going to rush him. He will debut after a few more full practices, when the day comes he’s likely to replace Julien Gauthier on the third line.

Rangers: 15-15-4 (34 pts)
Capitals: 23-7-4 (50 pts)

(7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG Network, Radio: ESPN 98.7 FM)

Rangers vs Capitals: Third period momentum needs to carry over in rematch

Three goals from the Caps in the second period of their last game put the Rangers in a big hole. Then Evgeny Kuznetsov scored to make it 4-0 and any sane person would’ve shut the game off right there. Of course those who chose to missed a spirited comeback that just fell short.

Colin Blackwell scored twice to cut the lead in half. Unfortunately T.J. Oshie scored to make it 5-2 and it wound up being the game-winner. Goals by Alexis Lafrenière and Chris Kreider made it close, but once again the Rangers failed to tie a game late with the goalie pulled.

Keith Kinkaid was not sharp and had trouble seeing the puck through traffic. The Rangers are hoping the third period momentum will carry over and that Igor Shesterkin’s goaltending will be the difference.

Igor Shesterkin expected to start; Ryan Lindgren game 100

rangers vs capitals
Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Blueshirts are hoping that Igor Shesterkin will keep his winning ways against the Capitals. In his two career starts he’s 2-0-0 with a stellar .950 SV% and a 1.50 GAA. This is no small feat when you are talking about a team that boasts some of the game’s best offensive talents and goal scoring machine, Alex Ovechkin.

Another notable Ranger tonight is rugged defenseman Ryan Lindgren. The young blue-liner is playing in his 100th career NHL game, all with the Blueshirts. Not bad for a player that Brad Marchand said wouldn’t be around this league long.

Lindgren is one of only four players this season to register at least 60 hits, 30 blocked shots and 15 takeaways. He’s the perfect partner for Adam Fox who just earned NHL First Star of the Week honors.

Pre Game Notes

  • All-Time vs Capitals: 102-99-18-11 (56-44-9-5 at home; 46-55-9-6 on the road)
  • The Rangers have posted a plus-15 goal differential over the last seven games (31 goals for, 16 goals against) and a plus-18 goal differential over the last nine games (39 goals for, 21 goals against).
  • The Rangers were 1-for-4 (6:11) on Mar. 28 at Washington.
  • The Blueshirts have tallied at least one power play goal in each of the last four games (7-for-16; 43.8%) and in six of the last seven games (9-for-26; 34.6%).
  • The Rangers were 3-for-3 (6:00) on Mar. 28 at Washington.
  • The Blueshirts have not allowed a power play goal in 21 of their last 27 games (75-for-84; 89.3%), including 15 of the last 20 games (53-for-61; 86.9%).

Notes courtesy of NYR

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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