Igor Shesterkin is back, just in time to try to save the Rangers.
After being deemed unfit to play in the first two games of the Stanley Cup qualifiers against the Hurricanes, both of which the Rangers lost with Henrik Lundqvist in net, Shesterkin was finally cleared to start Tuesday’s Game 3 in Toronto.
While the 24-year-old Shesterkin was set to make his postseason debut, it also marked the end of Lundqvist’s postseason reign. The 38-year-old had started 129 straight postseason games for the Rangers, with Kevin Weekes being the last goalie to start for the Rangers in a playoff game in 2006.
Shesterkin, meanwhile, had given the Rangers a spark during the regular season after he was called up from AHL Hartford and the club will need the same jolt Tuesday to extend their season. Before the regular season was paused, he posted a 10-2 record with a 2.52 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.
Brendan Lemieux was also set to return to the lineup after serving his two-game suspension for an illegal elbow in the last game of the regular season. The winger replaced Steven Fogarty while Jesper Fast remained out after getting crushed by former teammate Brady Skjei in his first shift of Game 1.