Some nights, you just get goalie’d. The New York Rangers put on a dominant performance on Madison Square Garden ice where they piled up 51 shots but would only beat Vezina candidate Connor Hellebuyck one time. The loss is disappointing for sure, especially with the standings so tight and points hard to come by, but the New York Rangers didn’t play poorly in this one. They were just a bit unlucky.
The Jets only had 21 shots for the entire game but four of them would beat Igor Shesterkin. The goals started just 5:12 into the game when Pierre-Luc Dubois struck for the Jets. Dubois, on the power-play, deflected a point shot from Josh Morrissey past Shesterkin for a 1-0 Jets lead. The Jets struck again 16:32 into the first period where Mark Schiefele scored the first of his two goals on the night. Kyle Connor fired a shot through traffic into Shesterkin. Shesterkin had trouble with the shot and Schiefele had a nice little tap-in opportunity in front to give the Jets a 2-0 lead.
The Rangers needed to come out strong with any hope of getting this game back within a goal. Despite more strong play from the Rangers, the Jets would pile another goal on just 6:04 into the second period. Noted Jets sniper, Kyle Connor, made his presence felt again this game. Connor received a pass in the left circle and lasered a wrister past Shesterkin to make it 3-0 Winnipeg.
The Rangers needed some kind of spark, some sort of life. They got that spark 11:00 minutes into the second period when Vladimir Tarasenko rifled a cross ice pass to Vincent Trocheck, who got it past Hellebuyck for the Rangers only goal of the evening.
Despite an all out attack from the Rangers in the third period, they just couldn’t get another shot past Hellebuyck. Some night you just tip your cap. At 15:29 of the third period, any hopes of a rally came to an end when Scheifele ripped a backhander past Shesterkin for a 4-1 Jets lead. That score wound up holding and the Jets escaped MSG with a win all thanks to their goaltender.
Everyone on that team owes Hellebuyck whatever he wants for dinner this entire week. The game was solid for the Rangers, minus Hellebuyck standing on his head. Shesterkin is also cold right now, but he will find his game soon. It’s better for him to struggle now than in the playoffs.