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Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin delivers ‘Igor-esque’ gem in Game 2 win

NHL

Vincent Trocheck’s description of Igor Shesterkin’s performance as “Igor-esque” felt fitting on Tuesday night because while 49 goaltenders have gotten more saves in a playoff game than Shesterkin had on Tuesday night, only two have stopped 75 or more shots.

And one of them just happens to be Igor Shesterkin.

The Russian’s 54 saves on Tuesday did not match his 79 in Game 1 of the first round against Pittsburgh two seasons ago in a triple-overtime losing effort, but everyone involved will take that tradeoff 10 times over.

This 4-3 victory to give the Rangers a commanding 2-0 series lead heading to North Carolina was, in large part, on the shoulders of their goaltender, who earned his first postseason overtime victory since Game 7 against the Penguins in 2022.

Igor Shesterkin helped the Rangers earn a 2-0 lead in their second-round series against the Hurricanes. Charles Wenzelberg / NY Post
Igor Shesterkin made 32 saves across the third period and two overtimes Tuesday. Charles Wenzelberg / NY Post

“It’s unbelievable feelings every time,” Shesterkin said of the crowd chanting his name, which it did with some regularity Tuesday. “Every time, I was almost crying.”

He was soaked in sweat after playing 87:24 and getting the bulk of his work in the latter half of this marathon of a hockey game, turning aside 17 shots in the third, 10 more in overtime, five more in the second overtime.

Carolina had nearly created a Heidi Game 2.0 scenario late in regulation when ESPN switched off the Rangers game while the Blueshirts were on the power play.

The Canes’ penalty kill got up the ice for a pair of shorthanded chances.

Shesterkin denied Seth Jarvis.

Igor Shesterkin makes a save during the Rangers’ Game 2 win against the Hurricanes. Charles Wenzelberg

Then he stopped Jalen Chatfield with a toe save.

To overtime it went away.

“Their PK, they try to get some offense out of it, especially when (Sebastian) Aho’s out there,” Trocheck said. “We gotta be a little bit more knowledgeable with that and know, we gotta be more careful and have guys coming back hard.

“But like I said before, Igor played an Igor-esque type of game tonight. He was outstanding, kept us in the game, 55 shots or something like that. It’s insane. But whenever he’s on like that, it’s tough to beat him.”

Frederik Andersen finished with 35 saves and had his share of moments as well.

But playing two overtimes only adds to the playoff workload of a netminder who did not see anything like this during a regular season in which he spent months injured.

That is a concern for the Hurricanes, with Pyotr Kochetkov yet to see any postseason action.

The Rangers have no such worries, because Shesterkin has done this — and more — in the past.

He was Igor-esque, and the use of the description tells you everything you need to know.

“We never give up,” Shesterkin said. “So we play until the end. Everybody play our game and so we deserved a win tonight.”




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