Igor Shesterkin shined as the Rangers create franchise history in win over Islanders

Apr 13, 2024; New York, New York, USA;  New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes save
Apr 13, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes save / Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

A dramatic and ill-disciplined Rangers team would finally create history as they won their 54th game of the season, the most in one year in the illustrious history of this franchise. Igor Shesterkin and the dominant penalty kill would be the building blocks of a late comeback to overcome the Islanders in a game the Rangers had to win. They still control their fate in the Metro, the East, and the overall standings.

In the second period, the Rangers would open the scoring with a short-handed goal. Chris Kreider would rush up the ice with Mika Zibanejad, but neither hand the shooting lane to trouble Ilya Sorokin. Instead, the pass is back to the trailer, which is Braden Schneider. His shot is stopped, but the big defenseman puts the rebound home, and the Rangers strike first in this battle of New York.

However, the Islanders would strike back on the same powerplay to tie this game up at one. Some pretty one-touch passing would allow the Islanders to work the puck from Anders Lee to Brock Nelson, who fired it over to Pierre Engvall for the one-timer. It goes off the shoulder of Igor Shesterkin and in, but the Rangers challenged for offside. A review showed Peter Laviolette's coaching staff to be correct, and the goal came off the board.

A blocked shot by Adam Fox would create all sorts of chaos in front of Igor Shesterkin. A few tight-angle shots from Brock Nelson would get turned away by Shesterkin until, eventually, one hit the blade of Shesterkin and fluttered up above the pads of the Russian netminder. He was powerless to stop the puck from crossing the goal line and tying this game up. It had been coming truthfully.

Before the end of the second, the Islanders would take the lead. Hudson Fasching won a board battle behind the Rangers' net and got the puck over to Kyle Palmieri. Palmieri got it back to Fashing, who tried to wrap the puck around and slam it in at the near post past Shesterkin, but instead, it flew across the slot to Brock Nelson, who has most of the net to aim for, and he doesn't miss. It's 2-1 Islanders.

The Rangers tied the game with four minutes to go. Vincent Trocheck's offensive zone win left the puck at the top of the circle. Artemi Panarin jumped on it and lashed it into the top corner of the cage. Panarin pushed his point streak to 12 games and continued to build his MVP case. It was the Blueshirts' first five-on-five goal in three games, and there was time to win this in regulation, too.

That didn't happen, so we went to Madison Square Garden's extra frame. It only gave Igor a platform to commit more robbery, so we're going to the shootout. Panarin would tally first, giving the Blueshirts the edge. Kyle Palmieri rung the iron. Ilya Sorokin would turn away Mika Zibanejad. Brock Nelson also hit the stonewall of Igor. Trocheck would find the net, and the Rangers won. A late comeback at the Garden complete.