When New York Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin concluded the regular season with a.935 save percentage, it was an unthinkable scenario. He was the overwhelming frontrunner for the Vezina Trophy.
A 7-2 loss to Sidney Crosby and the Penguins sent the Rangers back to New York licking their wounds and facing elimination in Game 5 on Wednesday. The Blueshirts now have the nearly impossible task of winning three straight games to progress to the Stanley Cup playoffs first round.
The three finalists, who were announced this week, carried that momentum into the playoffs, intercepting 118 of 124 attempts for a.952 percent success rate in the first two games. However, after landing in Pittsburgh, the 26-year-performance old’s has plummeted. As the Rangers trailed 3–1 in the series, he allowed 10 goals on 48 shots for an unappealing save percentage of 792.
Crosby scored one goal and added three assists to become the sixth player in NHL history to achieve 200 career playoff points, as the Penguins defeated Shesterkin 7-2 on Monday night at PPG Paints Arena. The victory was by three points. 1 in their first-round Eastern Conference series.
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The Penguins, who were held to four goals in four games by Shesterkin during the regular season, might beat the Rangers on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The game’s first goal came just 117 seconds in, rebounding off Rangers defenseman Patrick Nemeth. When Kapo Kako scored his first career playoff goal minutes later, there was a ray of hope, but it was all about Shesterkin in the first period.
The Penguins went behind 3-1 after scoring on back-to-back powerplays. At the 15:15 mark, Pittsburgh forward Evan Rodrigues scored the second of two Powerplay goals, sealing Shesterkin’s doom. Shesterkin finished with 11 saves on 15 shots, and it appeared that he was ahead of the game.