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game recap

Shesterkin makes 29 saves in NHL debut, Rangers hold off Avalanche

Panarin has goal, two assists for New York; Colorado has lost seven of 10

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Shesterkin's huge pad stop

COL@NYR: Shesterkin denies Bellemare with the pad

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tries to bury a shot home in front, but Igor Shesterkin makes a terrific pad save to keep the Rangers' lead intact

  • 00:23 •

NEW YORK -- Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves in his NHL debut, including 13 in the third period, and the New York Rangers defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Shesterkin, who was recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Monday, allowed two goals on the first four shots he faced before allowing one on the next 28 to help the Rangers (20-18-4) end a three-game losing streak.

"On my way to the arena my hands were shaking, couldn't even drink water," Shesterkin said through a translator. "But as I stepped on the ice, I felt everyone's support and energy and it really helped me." 


[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Rangers highlights]


New York's line of Artemi Panarin (one goal, two assists), Ryan Strome (one goal, one assist) and Jesper Fast (NHL career-high three assists) combined for eight points.

J.T. Compher scored twice, and Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves for the Avalanche (25-15-4), who were coming off a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday and are 3-6-1 in their past 10 games.

Video: COL@NYR: Strome rips Fast's feed into open net

"I didn't like the game at all," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We didn't win enough races, we didn't win enough battles. We weren't physical enough when we didn't win the race. We got outworked, outskated."

Compher scored at 4:44 of the first period to give Colorado a 1-0 lead, and Nathan MacKinnon scored his 26th goal on a breakaway to make it 2-0 at 6:34.

"Honestly, I wasn't panicking," Shesterkin said. "I kind of just laughed it off and I saved the next goals and gained confidence as the game went on."

Video: COL@NYR: Compher redirects shot home in front

Shesterkin's poise after allowing the two goals made an impression on his teammates. So too did his 70-foot saucer pass onto Kaapo Kakko's stick that helped send the Rangers in for a scoring chance in the first period.

"He just doesn't seem phased at all, like so calm the way he plays in net," Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said. "That obviously spreads. I mean he started off with that sauce pass, really good. It's good to see him get the first win that early. We were feeding off of him."

Chris Kreider redirected Strome's pass five-hole on the power play to cut it to 2-1 at 8:57 of the first, and Zibanejad chipped in a loose puck from the slot under the arm of Grubauer to tie it 2-2 at 15:23.

Video: COL@NYR: Kreider deflects Strome's pass home for PPG

Brady Skjei's one-timer at 8:05 of the second period gave New York a 3-2 lead.

Compher tied it 3-3 with his second goal of the game at 11:32, but Strome's fifth goal in the past six games gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead at 13:39.

Panarin scored an empty-net goal at 19:32 of the third period for the 5-3 final.

"It just wasn't good enough," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "In the D zone, we were just standing still and looking around. They've got a lot of offensive creativity and we just kind of stood around and we weren't really taking charge."

Video: COL@NYR: Skjei hammers Fox's feed past Grubauer

Ryan Lindgren and Joonas Donskoi each left the game with an injury at 16:23 of the first.

Donskoi went to the locker room following a hit in front of the penalty boxes by Lindgren, who sustained a gash under his right eye in the ensuing fight with Nazem Kadri.

Kadri was assessed an instigator minor, a fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct.

Bednar didn't have an update on Donskoi but said it doesn't look good since he didn't return. Rangers coach David Quinn said Lindgren was held out for precautionary reasons and should be fine.

Video: COL@NYR: MacKinnon slips shot five-hole on breakaway


They said it

"We did a couple good things on the forecheck, created a couple turnovers, scored a couple goals and then the energy went away. We didn't have enough guys tugging on the rope in the right direction. We just didn't have it." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"For [Shesterkin] to come up in this, big pressure, home ice, I mean, that's not an easy game. Madison Square Garden, it's the big stage. He did a great job, made some great saves in the third. I just loved his composure. I thought he was so calm. He didn't look nervous at all, just kind of went about his business and looked good." -- Rangers forward Ryan Strome


Need to know

MacKinnon played in his 500th NHL game, becoming the sixth draft pick in Avalanche history to play 500 games with the team, joining Landeskog (607), Alex Tanguay (598), Matt Duchene (586), Paul Stastny (538) and John-Michael Liles (523). … Colorado is 0-for-8 on the power play in its past three games. … Panarin had an NHL career-high eight shots on goal. He has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in his past six games. … The Avalanche are the only team in the NHL to have not won a game when trailing entering the third period (0-10-1).


What's next

Avalanche: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, TVAS, ALT, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Rangers defeat Avalanche in Shesterkin's NHL debut

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