Rookie Igor Shesterkin made 44 saves, Jesper Fast scored twice and the New York Rangers continued their surge with a 3-2 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
Shesterkin made 21 saves in the opening 20 minutes, when the Rangers were outshot 21-3. He stopped Evander Kane twice on breakaways in the opening 40 minutes and made 10 saves on Sharks defenseman Brent Burns.
Shesterkin won his seventh straight game and improved to 9-1 since making his NHL debut Jan. 7. He also made two point-blank stops on Patrick Marleau before Fast scored the tiebreaking goal with 13:06 remaining in the third.
The decisive play started when Ryan Strome won an offensive zone faceoff from Barclay Goodrow and passed to Jacob Trouba. Trouba took a long shot, Fast then got the rebound and pushed the puck past San Jose goaltender Aaron Dell and by defenseman Burns' stick.
Fast also scored New York's first goal as the Rangers won for the seventh time in eight games and 10th time in 13 games. Mika Zibanejad also scored for New York, which entered Saturday five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Joe Thornton scored his 416th and 417th career goals for San Jose, which may trade him by Monday's trade deadline.
Dell made 30 saves for the Sharks, who lost for the ninth time in 14 games.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead with 10:25 left in the first when Artemi Panarin slid the puck under Dell and Fast converted the tap-in. Thornton tied it with 2:05 left in the first by putting a wrist shot from the right circle on a rush by Shesterkin. He then gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with 6:13 left in the second when the puck deflected off his right skate after Shesterkin made a save on Burns.
New York tied the score with a brilliant defensive play by Panarin late in the second. Panarin needed one hand to knock the puck off Kane's stick behind the net and made a slick feed to Zibanejad, who buried the puck over Dell's pad into the left side of the net for his 28th goal of the season.
--Field Level Media