PITTSBURGH — The Rangers have relied on goalie Igor Shesterkin all season lengthy. Friday evening, he even turned in an help at an important second of their 5-3 Recreation 6 victory over the Penguins.
With the Rangers on an influence play within the second interval, Shesterkin skated with out hesitation all the way in which to the underside of the suitable faceoff circle to fulfill the Penguins’ away from the puck, with the rating tied 2-2.
Shesterkin launched the puck up the ice whereas the Penguins made a change. The puck hit Mika Zibanejad sq. on the tape of his stick. Zibanejad put the puck on internet and Chris Kreider cleaned up the unfastened rebound to provide the Rangers their first lead of the evening en path to the victory that teed up a winner-take-all Recreation 7 on Sunday evening at Madison Sq. Backyard.
“I apply,” Shesterkin mentioned, with out the assistance of a translator, of his secondary help on Kreider’s first of two objectives on the evening.
Igor Shesterkin (proper) celebrates with Chris Kreider after the Rangers’ Recreation 6 win over Pittsburgh.NHLI through Getty Photos
Shesterkin made 31 saves in his first win on the street on this first-round Stanley Cup playoff sequence towards Pittsburgh, the place the gang has relentlessly taunted the Rangers’ star goalie in all three video games at PPG Paints Area. The jeers started even earlier than the nationwide anthem on Friday evening, and continued periodically all through the sport, as they’ve all sequence lengthy.
The 26-year-old, who’s getting his first style of actual playoff hockey after one look within the 2020 bubble playoffs in entrance of an empty area, admitted that it has been troublesome to play on the street this postseason.
“It’s very troublesome,” he mentioned. “I attempt to go to my thoughts. I attempt to hold focus.”
Rangers director of goaltending Benoit Allaire gave him a tip, Shesterkin mentioned, however he opted to not share it.
“When the sport is over, you simply attempt to neglect in regards to the sport,” Shesterkin mentioned. “Doesn’t matter in case you win or lose. You have to win 4 on this sequence. I [was] pulled out twice, doesn’t matter. Coach believes in me. I want to say thanks. I simply attempt to discover my sport.”
The Rangers fell right into a 2-0 gap for the second time in as many video games. Requested what’s going by his thoughts in that second, Shesterkin mentioned, bluntly, that nothing adjustments for him.
“I do know we have to return to New York for Recreation 7,” he mentioned. “And I simply tried to deal with the puck on a regular basis.”
Tyler Motte performed for the primary time since April 7, when the trade-deadline acquisition suffered what the Rangers described as a “important” upper-body harm towards, coincidentally, the Penguins. Within the third interval of an eventual 4-1 Rangers win that evening, Pittsburgh winger Anthony Angello landed a excessive hit on Motte and knocked him out for the ultimate 15 video games of the common season.
Tyler Motte fights for the puck in the course of the Rangers’ win over the Penguins. USA TODAY Sports activities
Angello, who performed in 4 video games for the Penguins this season, hasn’t performed on this first-round Stanley Cup sequence.
Motte recorded one shot on aim and one hit over 9:32 of ice time in Recreation 6, which included 2:11 whereas the Rangers had been shorthanded.
Defenseman Patrik Nemeth was a wholesome scratch for the primary time on this sequence.