Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin provided one other standout performance with 37 saves and two assists, on goals by Mika Zibanejad and Filip Chytil, because the Rangers prolonged their season no less than yet one more game. Shesterkin became the fifth goaltender to record multiple assists in a playoff game and the primary Ranger with three in a single postseason (John Vanbiesbrouck had two in 1986 and three overall).
“It’s all the time great to have a goalie whose next step is to start out scoring goals,” Artemi Panarin, a Rangers forward from Russia, said through an interpreter.
But Shesterkin’s real contribution is stopping pucks, which he did by walling off Sebastian Aho on an early breakaway, one among the critical moments of Game 6. Shesterkin has been bedrock for the Rangers, and a primary reason the team feels confident it might probably finally end Carolina’s home domination, of their very last probability to accomplish that.
“We have now to play how we play at home,” Chytil said. “I don’t know what the difference for us is to play on the road. In the primary series, we found a method to win in Pittsburgh. I do know they’ve the fans and the constructing they’re used to. But we have now to play hard and play our game and don’t concentrate on some other thing, just concentrate on the sport and we are able to win the sport.”
But there’s one other side to that equation that will also appear to favor the Rangers. While Shesterkin has been utterly dependable dating back to the ultimate three games against the Penguins, his Carolina counterpart, Antti Raanta, just hit a possible psychological snag.
After Raanta allowed three goals lower than 24 minutes into the sport, including one or two that he could have saved, Brind’Amour sat him down in favor of Pyotr Kochetkov, the backup to the backup.
Raanta has played beyond expectations since stepping in for Frederik Andersen, the Hurricanes’ lead goalie, who has been sidelined since April with an undisclosed lower-body injury. Raanta, a former Ranger, has spent most of his N.H.L. profession as a backup, but he has played well within the playoffs, posting a 2.20 goals-against average, including Saturday’s loss.