Igor Shesterkin made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season and bested Jacob Markstrom as the host New York Rangers hung on for a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Shesterkin helped the Rangers push their winning streak to five games as the Rangers did just enough in a physical game that featured stellar goaltending. Shesterkin registered his 12th regular-season shutout and he earned the game’s first star.
Rookie Will Cuylle scored in the second period and Jimmy Vesey added an empty-net goal in the final seconds.
Markstrom made 29 saves and gave the Flames plenty of chances to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games and run their road winning streak to six.
After Markstrom made diving glove saves on Vincent Trocheck and Blake Wheeler late in the first period, the Rangers finally opening the scoring thanks to a strong defensive play and effort around the crease midway through the second.
Calgary’s Blake Coleman lost the puck in the defensive zone near the neutral zone, and Cuylle and Kaapo Kakko were sprung on a two-on-one. Kakko barreled down the left side and Markstrom made the initial save, but Cuylle’s second attempt at the rebound trickled under the goalie’s pads.
It was the ninth goal of the season for Cuylle.
Shesterkin preserved the shutout early in the second when he was in position for a sprawling left pad save on a hard shot by Rasmus Andersson that deflected over the net.
Markstrom kept it 1-0 with about 10 minutes left by slightly leaning back in the crease for a glove save on K’Andre Miller’s blast and then stopped the defenseman on a breakaway with 3:13 left.
Shesterkin preserved the lead with back-to-back, point-blank stops on Coleman with about two minutes left and then nearly scored into the empty net.
Vesey sealed the outcome with 19 seconds to go, collecting his 12th goal of the season.