Rookie goalie Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves in his first NHL game to lead the New York Rangers to a 5-3 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
Called up after an outstanding debut season in the AHL, the 24-year-old Shesterkin looked solid while facing 32 shots from the high-scoring Avalanche, who entered Tuesday second in the NHL in goals.
The Rangers snapped a three-game (0-3-0) losing streak while the Avalanche lost their second game in the greater New York area in as many nights. Colorado dropped a 1-0 shutout result to the New York Islanders on Monday.
Artemi Panarin collected two assists and an empty-net goal. Jesper Fast had three assists for the Rangers. Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad each had a goal and an assist, while Tony DeAngelo collected two helpers.
J.T. Compher scored twice for Colorado, and Andre Burakovsky had two assists.
Things looked shaky for Shesterskin early on, as goals from Compher and Nathan MacKinnon gave the Avalanche a quick 2-0 lead within the game’s opening seven minutes.
Despite the early deficit, the Rangers relied on two of their hottest scorers to equalize the score before the end of the period. Chris Kreider’s power-play goal at the 8:57 mark gave the forward 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) over his last 14 games.
At 15:23 of the first period, a nice passing play between DeAngelo and Zibanejad resulted in Zibanejad’s 17th goal of the season. Ten of Zibanejad’s goals have come in his last 14 games.
New York took the lead 8:05 into the second period on a booming point shot from defenseman Brady Skjei.
It was now Colorado’s turn to tie the score, as Compher buried a pass from Burakovsky 11:32 into the frame.
Strome scored his fifth goal in his last six games to put the Rangers ahead for good at 13:39 of the second period.
Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer saved 24 of 28 shots.
A first-period bodycheck from Ryan Lindgren on Joonas Donskoi resulted in three players leaving the game. Donskoi didn’t return due to an undisclosed injury, while a subsequent fight between Lindgren (upper-body injury) and Nazem Kadri (game misconduct penalty) put both players out of action.
—Field Level Media