Shesterkin says NYET! New York Rangers steal a win from Leafs with Panarin OT goal

new york rangers
Oct 18, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin (10) celebrates his overtime winning goal as forward Mika Zibanejad (93) and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) and forward Michael Bunting (58) look on at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers came into Toronto where the Maple Leafs played host to their first U.S. based team in over a year. Auston Matthews was also playing his first game of the season and it had the arena buzzing.

That energy was palpable with the Maple Leafs coming at the Rangers full tilt all game. The only problem for Toronto was a goalie named Igor Shesterkin who said NYET 40 times en route to a victory.

Recap: Rangers 2 vs Maple Leafs 1

The two teams played a fast paced first period with the Maple Leafs getting the better chances in the early going. Barclay Goodrow was called for a high stick just 1:09 in giving the Leafs offensive stars an early chance to score. Toronto dominated the entire two minutes with Matthews getting two shots that Igor Shesterkin stopped.

New York would start to use their size and speed to gain some momentum. Then 13:49 into the first, Mika Zibanejad took advantage of a Leafs turnover caused by a Ryan Reaves hit. The Rangers top sniper pinged one off the post that had to be reviewed. Turns out the shot actually went in off the post, hitting the camera inside the net.

Late in the period, Jacob Trouba went off for hooking to give the Leafs another crack at beating Shesterkin. However, 3 big saves and a post hit by William Nylander kept the Rangers ahead 1-0 heading into the middle stanza.

Toronto came out strong in the second period and rewarded for their aggressive play 1:36 in. Michael Bunting tipped a Morgan Rielly shot into Shesterkin, who actually put the puck in off his pad to tie the game at one.

igor shesterkin
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs kept coming in waves with the Rangers simply generating no offense. It was becoming apparent that missing 1/3 of your top six forwards in Kakko and Strome was having its toll. Toronto simply dominated the second period firing a total of 17 shots with Igor standing on his head getting all but one.

Both teams started the final period dead even on the scoreboard, but with the Leafs certainly having a huge edge in play outshooting the Rangers 29-12. That would continue as Toronto was relentless on the attack adding 7 more shots halfway through the stanza with Shesterkin standing strong.

New York did have a couple of great chances with Jack Campbell stopping Sammy Blais point blank which gave them life as they started to come on in the second half of the period.

Ultimately, the game went into OT and it was more of Igor Shesterkin’s acrobatics including a sequence where he made a save 20 feet out of his net. Then with 1:10 left on the clock Artemi Panarin snapped it off a Zibanejad face-off win for a 2-1 victory.

Why mention the face-off? Because the Leafs won 76% of them for the game.

“If it’s not for Igor, I don’t want to imagine what would happen,” Zibanejad said. “He was outstanding.”

An absolute stolen win as Shesterkin stopped 40 of 41 shots, including 8 on the power play. He is now 9-0-0 when making 36-plus saves. This marks the third time he has had 40 or more saves while allowing one or fewer goal.

“He was incredible tonight,” Gerard Gallant said. “He stole two points for us tonight.”

Notable Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin registered a .976 SV% and improved his record to 2-0-1
  • Artemi Panarin scored his first goal of the season
  • Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, now has 5 points on the year
  • The Rangers who lead the NHL in hits added 33 more tonight to the Leafs 19
  • Barclay Goodrow led the team with 5 hits
  • NY was outshot by a wide margin 41-23

Tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 19): Day Off
Next Game: Thursday, Oct. 21 at Nashville Predators (8:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG)
*Schedule subject to change

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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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