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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” seemed apt Tuesday night, because although 49 goaltenders made more saves in a playoff game than Shesterkin on Tuesday night, only two stopped 75 shots or more.

And one of them happens to be Igor Shesterkin.

The Russian’s 54 saves Tuesday didn’t match his 79 in the first-round opener against Pittsburgh two seasons ago in a triple overtime loss, but everyone involved will take that 10-time tradeoff.

That 4-3 win that gave the Rangers a 2-0 series lead at North Carolina rested largely on the shoulders of their goaltender, who notched his first overtime victory of the playoffs playoffs.

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

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

He was drenched in sweat after playing 87:24 and doing most of his work in the second half of this hockey marathon, stopping 17 shots in the third, 10 more in overtime and five more in the second overtime.

Carolina had almost 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 allowed the rink to create two shorthanded chances.

Shesterkin denied Seth Jarvis.

Igor Shesterkin makes a save in the Rangers’ Game 2 win over the Hurricanes. Charles Wenzelberg

Then he stopped Jalen Chatfield with a toe stop.

It went into overtime.

“Their PK, they try to get some offense out of it, especially when (Sebastian) Aho is out there,” Trocheck said. “We need to be a little more informed about it and know that we need to be more careful and have guys come back strong.

“But like I said before, Igor played an Igor type game tonight. He was outstanding, he kept us in the game, 55 shots or something like that. It’s crazy. But when he is like this, it’s hard 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 for a goalie who hasn’t seen anything like it during a regular season in which he spent months injured.

This is a concern for the Hurricanes, as Pyotr Kochetkov has yet to make the playoffs.

The Rangers have no such concerns, as Shesterkin has done this – and much more – in the past.

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

“We never give up,” Shesterkin said. “So we play until the end. Everyone is playing our game and so we deserve a win tonight.




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