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Rangers Defeat Panthers in Overtime as Igor Shesterkin Excels

In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference playoffs on Sunday, New York led the Florida Panthers by two goals going into the third quarter, and the Panthers were pulling away from their opponent. With Florida controlling New York in all three zones, Rangers coach Peter Laviolette realized his team needed to take a breather after the Panthers tied the game 4–4.

He demanded an end to it. discussed matters on the bench. Redoubled in their efforts, New York relied on goalie Igor Shesterkin’s outstanding play to break the stalemate in the decisive game. After Alex Wennberg’s goal, the Rangers went on to win 5-4 in overtime.

The Rangers had won two straight games in OT. In the best-of-seven series, they are up 2-1 over Florida.

According to Laviolette, “the third was probably our toughest go in the series so far.” “We’re up 4-2, we’re under siege, they were able to capitalize, and that was by far their best period. It was a pretty even game going into the third period. They got [a goal], got another one, the building was into it. So it was moving in their direction. We came out of the timeout and had three or four good shifts in a row. But they got it into overtime. Shesterkin had to make a few big saves for us. And then [came] a big goal for us in overtime to win it.”

Shesterkin led the Rangers to a crucial victory on the road. He played his greatest postseason game to take the win as Florida poured everything at the goal, outshooting the Rangers 94-35 in regulation and winning 38-23 in shots.

A few saves had a greater effect than others. With 35 seconds remaining in regulation, Shesterkin produced a spectacular stop on Panthers forward Sam Reinhart, sending New York out of the third and into a new overtime session.

In overtime during the postseason, New York is 4-0.

“[Shesterkin] was our best player tonight,” stated Vincent Trocheck, the center. “When you have a guy back there like that, you have a lot of confidence in him. He stole this game late.”

Shesterkin also put on an incredible show early in overtime to keep Florida at bay. The Panthers suffered their first series loss of the postseason as a result, allowing Wennberg to win and give New York the upper hand.

Wennberg stated, “They had some good chances.” “You need a goalie who can help out and [Shesterkin] did more than once or twice. He did that, and it’s a good feeling to have that goalie making a difference.”

Because of its own disciplinary problems, New York fell down early in Game 3.

Less than two minutes into the first session, Florida led 1-0 thanks to a power play goal by Sam Reinhart, who took advantage of Braden Schneider’s boxing infraction.

But, Alexis Lafreniere and Barclay Goodrow scored goals just 25 seconds apart halfway through the half to put the Rangers ahead 2-1, but New York would not be down that much longer.

After 20 minutes, Reinhart tied the score at 2-2 with his second power-play goal of the evening, making New York pay. Reinhart’s two goals in a postseason game tie the record for most goals scored by a Panthers player while on the man advantage.

The first period saw four goals scored, following a total of six goals scored in Games 1 and 2. However, Florida’s 30-10 first-period shot attempts and 20-10 at even strength only highlighted Shesterkin’s critical role in containing New York. The Rangers failed to capitalize on power play opportunities while Florida succeeded in doing so.

Despite being 0 for 2 with an additional man that evening, they were helped by Goodrow’s shorthanded goal, which, combined with Lafreniere’s second goal of the game, gave New York a 4-2 lead into the third.

The Rangers would really be put to the test there. The Panthers exerted pressure and managed play until the scoreboard showed an equitable distribution of points. Aleksander Barkov and Gustav Forsling each scored two goals as Florida dominated New York, outshooting and out-chancing the Rangers 40–10 in the process.

Laviolette used his allotted time. That’s when New York’s attitude changed.

“It’s an up-and-down game,” according to Trocheck. “[In the third] period, they had the edge again. Our team is resilient. Going into overtime, anything can happen.”
In the extra frame, Shesterkin stood tall, giving New York the opportunity to win. Wennberg delivered a clutch performance.

In the extra frame, Shesterkin stood tall, giving New York the opportunity to win. Wennberg delivered a clutch performance.

“Really good work by him in all zones. Really smart player,” Laviolette remarked. “Really committed. Gave us what we needed at the time and what we were hoping for.”

The Panthers attempted 108 shots on the Rangers in the end, but they were unsuccessful in winning. Paul Maurice, the coach of Florida, is hoping that would aid his team’s comeback in Tuesday’s Game 4.

“A lot of times in the playoffs you want to make sure you keep your energy and cut off your losses,” Maurice stated. “And you let it go. Then there are times you want to keep it. And eat it. And let it burn for a while. And find a different kind of energy source. When you put up what we put up tonight and don’t come up with the win, you should be a little growly.”

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