Igor Shesterkin, with the last close, looks like a winner on Vezina again
With 33 saves per minute Rangers win 6-0 against the Penguins On Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, goaltender Igor Shesterkin recorded his second shutout of the season and first since November 3. 1.
The win, Shesterkin’s 32nd of the season and his fifth in a row, marked the tenth time he had offloaded a team in his four-year NHL career.
Of course it means a lot to me, said Shesterkin. “I am very happy now.”
Although the workload seemed to dwindle as the match went on, Shesterkin was sharp from start to finish.
He made back-to-back saves on the Penguins’ Rickard Raquel and Jake Guentzel in the first half before denying Drew O’Connor from the slot at the end of the second period.
Shesterkin only had to make eight saves in the final 20 minutes, but it didn’t give the Penguins much room to work with.
The last few matches were Shesterkin’s best performances this season.
900 in each of the last four games, as well as in six of the last eight contests.
Stopping 146 of the 155 shots he faced in his last five games, Shesterkin has shown shades of his Vezina Trophy-winning performance from last season.
“He’s been in a pretty good rhythm the last two or so three weeks,” said coach Gerard Gallant after the win, who lifted the Rangers to a 40-19-10 record. “He played really well. [Jaroslav] barber will go [Sunday night against the Predators], clearly. He played well too.
“Goaltending is a big part of it on the downside here. Keep playing well and keep trying to win hockey games.”
After backstopping the Rangers to a 5-3 victory over D.C. earlier this week, Shesterkin became just the second goaltender to reach the 30-win mark this season.
Shesterkin was also the first Rangers goaltender to record 30 consecutive wins since Henrik Lundqvist had four straight seasons from 2013-14 to 2016-17.
Ryan Lindgren (shoulder injury) missed action in the 10th straight game.
After facing the Predators on Sunday night, the Rangers will have a day off on Monday before returning to action on Tuesday against the Hurricanes at the Garden.