Igor Shesterkin’s brilliant play gives Rangers confidence heading into Game 5 in Raleigh

May 24, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) stands in his goal during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin has learned from his mistakes in the first round of the playoffs and is playing his best hockey of the season heading into Game 5 on Thursday night.

New York Rangers’ Igor Shhesterkin’s superb play was the reason the Rangers were able to take a 4-1 win in Game four over the Hurricanes on Tuesday night. He and his Blueshirt teammates look to grab the series lead when they visit Carolina for Game 5 on Thursday where the Hurricanes are a perfect 6-0 this postseason.

Shestrkin was tested early in the game when he made a magnificent save on Carolina’s Brett Pesce. The Rangers goalkeeper went from the right post across to the left turning what looked like a sure Hurricanes goal into a spectacular glove save.

Head coach Gerard Gallant knows he can expect that style of play from his number one starter every game,

“Same thing every night,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Helps our team, battles. I think it was the second shift of the game, he made that save on the backdoor with his glove and that’s huge for us to get the lead and him making those saves early in the game.”

Shesterkin has turned his game a full 360 degrees since he was pulled in both Game 3 and Game 4 of their round one series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Since then, Shesterkin has had a save percentage of  .939.  In lamens terms, he has stopped 93.9 % of the shots he has faced which is slightly better than his regular-season save percentage of  .935 which was the best percentage in the NHL.

His save percentage through the first four games of this series is an incredible .959 (117-for-122). When facing 40 or more shots this year, Igor Shesterkin is 7-1 (3-1 in playoffs, 4-0 in regular season). Shesterkin has allowed one goal in each of his last three games and has allowed a total of five goals in four games this series (plus an empty-net goal).

He has looked focused and confident, tracking the puck with ease. In his two losses in Carolina this series he has given up four goals on 48 shots against him. The Russian goalie seems to be in the head of the Hurricane players as they have looked to be too perfect in passing the puck and too precise when shooting.

Defenseman Ryan Lindgren, who has played strong in front of Shesty, knows his goalie will make those big saves overnight to keep the team in close games,

“It seems like every game, he’s always making those huge saves,”

Shestrekin made 30 saves on 31 shots to earn the win and became the fifth goaltender in club history to post a five-game home winning streak during a postseason, following Mike Richter (1994), Steve Baker (1981), Ed Giacomin (1974), and Dave Kerr (1940).

Follow Frank on Twitter at @RangerProud

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