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NHL Rink Wrap: Matthews’ return spoiled by Shesterkin, Rangers

NHL Rink Wrap: Matthews' return spoiled by Shesterkin, Rangers

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs goes to the net against Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers in overtime at the Scotiabank Arena on October 18, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Top player from Monday in the NHL

Igor Shesterkin, Rangers

The New York netminder stood on his head during Monday’s 2-1 overtime win against the Maple Leafs. Shesterkin stopped 40 of 41 shots he faced in the victory. He now has seven career wins when making at least 40 saves since his NHL debut in 2019-20, the most among all goaltenders over that span.

Highlights from Monday in the NHL

Can we form the Maple Leafs - Rangers overtime in some sort of burger-like patty so I can ingest it? Maybe break it down to a soup to make it last longer? Anyway, thrilling stuff, and Auston Matthews was left muttering. (More on that soon.)

Stupendous save by Carter Hart, and one that will likely haunt Jordan Eberle’s dreams.

The Blues topped the Coyotes 7-4, which was boosted by a five-goal run in a 5:07 in the second period:

Could Pavel Buchnevich get suspended early in his first season with the Blues?

Two Takeaways from Monday in the NHL

Matthews was ready ... but so was Shesterkin

Is Auston Matthews 100%? If not, opponents better look out.

During Matthews’ NHL season debut on Monday, the American forward fired a whopping eight shots on goal. Matthews and his line absolutely tilted the ice, but Igor Shesterkin stood on his head.

After giving up three goals in his first appearance of 2021-22, Shesterkin started to heat up by stopping 31 out of 32 shots vs. the Canadiens. Remarkably, the still-relatively-unproven netminder was even more brilliant against Matthews and the Leafs.

Matthews created a bunch of chances during that exciting OT above, but Artemi Panarin scored the game-winner.

Flyers get some revenge on Hakstol

Publicly, Flyers players will probably deflect any talk of getting “revenge” on former coach Dave Hakstol. And, who knows? Privately, they might not care that much, either.

So, call it a coincidence if you’d like. But either way, Hakstol’s former team (the Flyers) sure opened a can on Hakstol’s current team (the Kraken) as one of the most noteworthy developments of Monday in the NHL.

Via Natural Stat Trick, the Flyers generated a 16-7 scoring chance advantage at even-strength during the first period alone. The Flyers also produced a 3-0 lead in the first period, then growing it to 5-1 by the second.

Maybe Derick Brassard can find a second life reunited with Alain Vigneault? The journeyman forward generated three points (1G, 2A) in the Flyers’ blowout of the Kraken.

(By the way, this wasn’t just a case of the Flyers’ power play overpowering the Kraken. None of Philly’s goals came on the man advantage.)

Tuesday’s big story

Florida feud forming?

With Nikita Kucherov’s health once again unknown, the brewing Battle of Florida might lose a bit of luster.

Even so, there’s growing evidence that the Panthers and Lightning could create a nice little Florida feud. Both teams moved to an alternate Central Division last season, setting the stage for an intriguing (and hate-filled) playoff series. There were suspensions, goalie changes, and so, so many goals.

Now, a Game 7 would’ve given that series (and the Lightning - Panthers rivalry) an extra boost. Nonetheless, the Panthers and Lightning planted seeds of budding disdain.

With the Panthers (2-0-0) and Lightning (2-1-0) both off to pretty good starts, we should get a glance at what could become a great, long-awaited in-state rivalry.

Monday’s NHL scores

Rangers 2, Maple Leafs 1 (OT)
Flyers 6, Kraken 1
Ducks 3, Flames 2 (OT)
Blues 7, Coyotes 4

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.