Three Keys to Rangers beating the Capitals in Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

May 13, 2015; New York, NY, USA; the New York Rangers shake hands with the Washington Capitals over
May 13, 2015; New York, NY, USA; the New York Rangers shake hands with the Washington Capitals over / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Igor Shesterkin

Igor Shesterkin has had quite the year. A .899 save percentage at the all-star break outlined his struggles, only to remember that he is a good netminder and recover to a .912 by the end of the season, which shows that Shesterkin can turn it on when he wants to. Shesterkin has been one of the best netminders in the league for his entire time in the big leagues with the Rangers. Since taking the mantle from Henrik Lundqvist, he's replaced the iconic netminder in almost every way.

Last postseason, the Rangers failed Igor on more than one occasion, leaving him to try to hold off the New Jersey Devils on his own. While the Russian did his best to try and hold the Blueshirts in it, the goaltender seldom scores and it is even rarer when there is a guy in the other goal. Try as he might, Shesterkin couldn't keep the Rangers in last year, and it led to him screaming at his teammates on the bench during game seven last year.

The Russian goalie's performance is a pivotal factor for the Rangers this year. Since his business trip to Toronto, he has shown signs of improvement. However, the team cannot afford any setbacks in crucial games. While we have every reason to believe in Shesterkin's greatness, there is a hint of skepticism due to his start of the season. This period is undeniably the most crucial time of the year, underscoring the team's reliance on his performance.

If Igor does falter, Jonathan Quick is quite the sturdy backup netminder for the Blueshirts. A three-time Stanley Cup Champion and a Conn Smythe winner knows what it takes to win in the playoffs. With tremendous respect, we do not need to see the all-time NHL leader in wins by an American-born goaltender as the Russian leads the Blueshirts to the iconic trophy.