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Igor Shesterkin’s third-period save preserved Rangers rally

NHL

Chris Kreider’s natural hat trick gave the Rangers the lead.

Igor Shesterkin made sure they stayed there.

The Russian goaltender made perhaps the biggest of his 33 saves of the night with 2:43 left in the third period to maintain a 4-3 Blueshirts lead en route to a 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes in of the sixth game which dispatched the Presidents. “Trophy winners advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Carolina forward Andrei Svechnikov found himself alone with the puck in the slot after a faceoff in the Rangers zone, with only Shesterkin between him and a draw in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers celebrates with his teammates after a 5-3 victory in game six.
Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers celebrates with his teammates after a 5-3 victory in game six. NHLI via Getty Images

The Hurricanes winger – who already had two assists that night – took a snap shot for the far post, but Shesterkin coolly showed his blocker and headed the puck safely into the corner.

The save was emblematic of the goalkeeper’s balanced nature, his attitude not changing despite giving up three goals before the match’s halfway point.

“He has an upside if we lose, but he’s a pretty consistent, balanced guy all the time,” Jacob Trouba told The Post’s Larry Brooks on Wednesday. “But this morning you could tell he was getting ready. He knows what’s at stake.”

Back-to-back losses after three straight wins to open the semi-final series had the Rangers feeling the pressure – especially after falling flat in a 4-1 Game 5 loss that saw the Hurricanes score four goals in third period, including three behind. Shesterkin.

Igor Shesterkin kept the Rangers in the game with a remarkable third period.
Igor Shesterkin kept the Rangers in the game with a remarkable third period. JASON SZENES FOR THE NEW YORK POST

Follow The Post’s coverage of the Rangers in the NHL playoffs


Carolina wasn’t going to duplicate that kind of luck Thursday night.

Not against the Rangers, who led the NHL with 28 come-from-behind victories during the regular season, nor against Shesterkin, who has backed the team to eight playoff victories so far this year.

He’ll have a chance to do more as the Rangers head to the Eastern Conference Finals, awaiting the winner of the Bruins-Panthers series.




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