Ranger’s look for answers after epic performance by Igor Shesterkin is wasted in Game 1 loss

The New York Rangers game one loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins was a result of a horrid second period that the team could not overcome physically or mentally.

The New York Rangers‘ loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in triple overtime last night will be forgotten the next time the Blueshirts hit the ice. What shouldn’t be forgotten was the total collapse the team suffered allowing the Pens to battle back from two leads in the second period.

A 1-0 first intermission lead for the Rangers turned to 2-0 early in the second period when Andrew Copp scored at 3:08 of the period.  The Penguins then found another gear, heck another two gears, and dominated play putting  Rangers on their heels and in their zone for almloost the whole period.

Poor 2nd Period costs lead

Pittsburgh put 18 shots on Igor Shesterkin in the first 12 minutes of the second period and tied the game at 2-2 at on two Jake Guentzel goals before the halfway mark of that period.  The Pens would take 25 shots, scoring three goals, with the third period ending tied 3-3.

The stellar play of Igor Shestrkin was the only reason this game was close making as he made 79 saves in the loss. The 79 saves were the second-most in NHL history (Joonas Korpisalo made 85 saves for the Columbus Blue Jackets against the Lightning in Game 1 of the 2020 first round, won by the Lightning 3-2 in the fifth overtime).

Shesterkin surpassed the 56 saves performance from Gump Worsley (April 5, 1962) for the most in franchise history.

Center  Ryan Strome acknowledged the caliber of play by Shesterkin following the loss,

“I mean, he made like 80 saves or whatever it was, so obviously he was good,”  “He’s done it all year. Our best player, and he showed it tonight. He [did] everything he had to do, and we couldn’t get one for him obviously.”

Head coach Gerrard Gallant, coaching his first playoff game with the Rangers, liked what he saw early on in the game

“Great game by two teams, thought the first 25 minutes we were real good, dominated that part of the game and then they come back in the second and they played really well after that. It was one of those games, three overtime periods, it’s tough to lose like that, but you get back on the horse and get ready for the next game.”

The club played a textbook first period, but somewhere after they scored their second goal, they took their foot off the pedal and it probably cost them a victory.

“I think we learned a lesson a little bit in the second period,” said Ryan Strome, who set up Andrew Copp for the one-timer in the slot for the two-goal lead. “When you’re up 2-0, you like to think that you can shut them down a little more, but they clawed back in so. It’s tough to remember the second period, it feels like so long ago, but I thought we battled hard. We did a lot of good things.

Many believe the Rangers overturned goal by Filip Chytil late in the third was the reason the team lost game one. In reality, the loss could be attributed because the team was unable to sustain the forecheck and hitting they displayed in the first period along with some poor shooting decisions in the overtime.

Game two is Thursday night and as the head coach said, it’s time to get back on the horse.


  • The status of Ryan Lindgren is unknown for Thursday’s game. He is listed as suffering from an LBI.
  • Igor Shesterkin made 79 saves on 83 shots, the second-most saves in NHL history behind Joonas Korpisalo (CBJ) on August 11, 2020, against Tampa Bay. His save total surpassed the 56 saves from Gump Worsley (April 5, 1962) for the most in franchise history.

  •    Chris Kreider scored his first career playoff shorthanded goal a part of his seventh career multi-point playoff game (1G-1A). Kreider’s shorthanded goal was his 30th special-team tally of 2021-22 (regular season and playoffs combined) – the highest combined total in a season since Eric Staal had 30 with the Hurricanes in 2005-06 en route to a Stanley Cup win. Kreider scored his 53rd combined goal of the season. Only three players in Rangers history recorded a higher combined total in a single campaign: Adam Graves (62 in 1993-94), Vic Hadfield (57 in 1971-72), and Jaromir Jagr (54 in 2005-06). Kreider’s goal, his 25th, surpassed Steve Vickers for the sixth most playoff goals in franchise history. Kreider’s 41 career playoff points rank tied for 15th in Rangers history.

  •    K’Andre Miller led the Rangers with 45:08 minutes of time on ice, the third-highest TOI in franchise history behind Ryan McDonagh (53:17) and Marc Staal (49:34) – both on May 2, 2012, at Washington.

  •   Mika Zibanejad notched two assists for his fourth career playoff multi-assist effort and first since April 29, 2017, against Ottawa. Zibanejad has 20 career playoff points (5G-15A).

  •   Adam Fox opened the scoring for New York with his first career playoff goal/point. It marked the ninth time in franchise history that a defenseman scored the team’s first goal of the postseason and the first since Matt Gilroy in Game 1 of the 2011 Conference Quarterfinals. Fox became the third reigning James Norris Memorial Trophy winner to contest at least one playoff game with the Rangers, following Doug Harvey (1961-62 Norris; 0-1—1 in 1963 SCP, 6 GP) and Harry Howell (1966-67 Norris; 1-0—1 in 1968 SCP, 6 GP). Fox (Jericho, N.Y.) became the fourth New York-born player in franchise history to score a playoff goal for the Rangers, following Ryan Callahan (14 G), Brian Mullen (2 G), and Matt Gilroy (1 G).

  •   Andrew Copp scored his fourth career playoff goal, giving him a combined nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 17 total games with New York. Copp is appearing in the playoffs for a fifth-straight season after spending the last four playoff seasons with Winnipeg.

  •  Ryan Strome tallied an assist, giving him three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 19 career playoff games between the Islanders and Rangers. Strome led the Rangers with eight shots on goal, tied for his career-high in the regular season and playoffs.

  • Jacob Trouba notched his sixth career playoff assist and second as a Ranger. (via NYR PR)

Follow Frank Curto on Twitter at @RangerProud.

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