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Recap: Shesterkin’s 41 Saves Win the Day, Rangers Top Avs 2-1 (SO)

Shesterkin reverses the result from the last time these teams met.

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Jack Dempsey/Getty Images

Last time the Rangers and Avalanche met, Colorado won in the shootout after an intense 65 minutes that featured great performances from Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev. This time, however, the Rangers won in the shootout, though the 65 minutes weren’t quite as much of a barn burner. But Igor was great.

The ice were fairly titled in favor of Colorado in the first period, resulting in a 1-0 lead. Mikko Rantanen scored on a quick shot through traffic off a faceoff win. The Avs played strong defensively, holding the Rangers to eight shots, none of which came from below the faceoff dot.

The second period was a more evenly-matched affair, though the Rangers scored the only goal. Barclay Goodrow stole the puck in the defensive zone and moved it to Panarin, who led a two-on-two. Panarin peeled off and waited for the trailer, Braden Schneider, who made no mistake with his wrister. It was the young defender’s fourth goal of the season, all of which have come since November 22. In fact, according to NYR Stats & Info, Schneider leads all defenders in the league in goals in that time frame. Is it an arbitrary range? Well, yes, but we still love to see it.

For the fourteenth time this season, the Rangers entered the third tied. The period was one of those that felt like a lot happened but also nothing happened. Colorado had the better of the chances and put 11 shots on goal compared to the Rangers five, but Shesterkin was equal to them all.

And so, just like last time these two teams met, regulation time was not enough to determine a winner. Both teams played conservative, low-risk hockey in the three-on-three, as they focused more on controlling the puck than creating chances. That said, Shesterkin kept the game tied with more important stops, including a two-on-one in the final five seconds to send the game to the shootout. Colorado won in the shootout last time, but the Rangers got the better this time. Shesterkin made two saves, while Zibanjead and Panarin each scored in completely different styles. Zibanejad used a quick move and release, while Panarin used every deke in his catalog before finishing on the backhand.

The Rangers have now won three in a row. Their performance wasn’t exactly great, but Igor Shesterkin was locked in. He made 41 saves in a classic “Igor bails out the team” manner. Hopefully this performance will help him regain some of the confidence he seems to be missing this year.

Next up will be the New Jersey Devils Monday night.