Igor Shesterkin, with latest shutout, back in Vezina form
March 19, 2023 | 2:59 p.m
Goaltender Igor Shesterkin made 33 saves in Rangers’ 6-0 win over the Penguins Saturday night at Madison Square Garden for his second shutout of the season and his first since November 1.
The win, Shesterkin’s 32nd win of the season and his fifth straight, also marked the 10th time he has beaten a team in his four-year NHL career.
“It obviously means a lot to me,” Shesterkin said. “I’m so happy right now.”
Though his workload seemed to dwindle as the game progressed, Shesterkin was sharp from start to finish.
He made back-to-back first-half saves against the Penguins’ Rickard Rackell and Jake Guentzel before denying Drew O’Connor the slot late in the second half.
Shesterkin only had to make eight saves in the last 20 minutes, but he didn’t give the Penguins much room to work.
The last few games have been some of Shesterkin’s best performances this season.
He has finished with a save percentage above .900 in each of the last four games and six of the last eight competitions.
Shesterkin has saved 146 of the 155 shots he has faced in his last five games and shown shadows of his Vezina Trophy-winning performance from last season.
“He’s been at a pretty good rhythm for the last two weeks or about three weeks,” head coach Gerard Gallant said after the win that put Rangers to 40-19-10. “He played really well. [Jaroslav] Halak will go [Sunday night against the Predators], apparently. He also played really well.
“Goalkeeping plays a big role here. Keep playing well and keep trying to win hockey games.”
After pushing Rangers back to a 5-3 win over the Capitals earlier this week, Shesterkin became just the second goalie to reach 30 wins this season.
Shesterkin also became the first Rangers goalkeeper to record 30 straight seasons since Henrik Lundqvist played four straight seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17.
Ryan Lindgren (shoulder injury) has been sidelined for the 10th game in a row.
After taking on the Predators on Sunday night, the Rangers have Monday off before returning to play against the Hurricanes at the Garden on Tuesday.