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Rangers even series with Penguins as things get physical


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 05: Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers lies on the ice after bing hit by Jeff Carter #77 of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period in Game Two of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 05, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Igor Shesterkin was the story on Thursday night in more ways than one.

He was not only sensational in the New York Rangers 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to even their series at one game apiece, he also gave the Rangers a major injury scare late in the third period in a collision with Penguins forward Jeff Carter.

With time two minutes to play in regulation, Shesterkin was out of his net playing a puck and on his way back into the crease was crushed by Carter along the side of the net. He remained down on the ice for a few moments and was tended to by trainers before being able to stay in the game.

Carter was penalized for goalie interference and roughing.

You can see the play here.

Shesterkin seemed to be okay despite the scare, which is the only thing that matters for the Rangers at this point because an injury to him would be devastating. It is not a stretch to say that goaltending was one of the main differences on Thursday as Shesterkin stopped 39 out of 41 shots, including some huge saved early in the third period as the Rangers were clinging to a one goal lead.

They eventually pulled away with a couple of late goals against Penguins goalie Louis Domingue. Domingue got the start due to injuries to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith. He was outstanding in double and triple overtime on Tuesday, but was not able to recapture that same magic in Game 2. At this point there is no timetable for Jarry or DeSmith to return so it might be Domingue’s net for the foreseeable future.

It is becoming pretty clear that there is some dislike brewing in this series, with Carter’s hit on Shesterkin being a potential boiling point. The series shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Saturday.