NEW YORK (AP)Ryan Strome scored in the first period, and Igor Shesterkin and Alexander Georgiev combined for a 28-save shutout as the New York Rangers beat the San Jose Sharks 1-0 Friday night for their fifth straight win.
Shesterkin had 19 saves before leaving at 5:08 of the third period after appearing to suffer a right leg injury stretching out face-down in the crease. The Russian goalie wasn’t putting any weight on the leg as he was helped off the ice by the Rangers’ trainer and banged the side of the runway in frustration as he departed down the tunnel.
”They are telling me it’s not as bad as it looks … minor lower-body,? Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. ”We’ll see.”
Shesterkin improved to 13-3-2 this season.
Georgiev stopped all nine shots he faced to help the surging Rangers win their seventh straight at home and improve to 10-2-2 in their last 14 games overall.
Gallant said Georgiev would start Saturday’s home game against Chicago.
”He made three great saves. He looked solid and I was really happy,” Gallant said. ”It’s a good opportunity for him.”
Adin Hill had 26 saves while starting for the second straight night after beating the Islanders on Thursday as the Sharks snapped a three-game winning streak and lost for the second time in seven games.
”He was our best player tonight, playing big in the net,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said.
San Jose had a power play midway through the third on a tripping penalty to the Rangers’ K’Andre Miller. Georgiev denied Logan Couture from in close on the Sharks’ best chance.
”The boys played hard in a back-to-back situation,” Boughner added. ”We just couldn’t get the offense going … The Rangers played well.”
Strome scored on the power play at 6:03 of the first period, getting his fourth of the season past Hill. Strome has points in nine of his past 10 games.
”I liked the way we played in the third,” Strome said. ”It’s nice to win a game 1-0.”
Adam Fox, who won the Norris Trophy last season, had his 19th assist on the play, most in the league by a defenseman. His 23 points are tied with Florida’s Aaron Ekblad for most by a defenseman. Fox has points in 13 of the Rangers’ 15 wins and they are 13-1-3 in games Fox has a point.
Fox said he was proud of the way his teammates handled the unexpected goalie switch. The Rangers kept the pressure on the visitors for the balance of the contest and mostly kept the Sharks at bay in front of Georgiev.
”It’s obviously deflating when a guy goes down and has to go to the locker room. You have to move on pretty quickly and respond to it,” he said. ”When they had some chances, Georgie came up big for us. We trust him when he’s in net.”
The Sharks were coming off 2-1 overtime win over the Islanders on Thursday night at UBS Arena after defeating the Devils 5-2 on Tuesday and the Blackhawks 2-0 in Chicago last Sunday.
Hill made a solid save on Mika Zibanejad’s tip-in try during the Rangers’ second power play midway through the second, and he denied Artemi Panarin with a right pad save from in close eight minutes into the third.
”I thought it was a good hockey game both ways, a good defensive battle,” Hill said. ”Our defense did a great job blocking shots.”
Gallant added that liked his team’s defensive approach in a tight game against an opponent playing the second game of a back-to-back.
”You always talk about playing the same game, continuing to forecheck,” he said. ”That’s your best defense, keeping them down there. Tonight it worked real well.”
DOMINATING THE SHARKS
The Rangers have won six games in a row against San Jose, dating back to Jan. 25, 2018, and have points in nine of their last 11 games against the Sharks with an 8-2-1 mark. At Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have won three straight meetings and six of the last seven.
SPECIAL TEAMS SUCCESS
The Rangers have power-play goals in four of their last five games and are 9-1-2 in contests in which they have scored with the man-advantage. When outscoring an opponent on special teams this season, New York is 7-0-1.
Georgiev and Shesterkin got the second combined shutout in franchise history, and first since Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Raanta at Dallas on Dec. 15, 2016. It was the first in the NHL since the Islanders’ Thomas Greiss and Semyon Varlamov did it against Columbus on Nov. 30, 2019.
Rangers: Host Chicago on Saturday night.
Sharks: At Columbus on Sunday to complete their third five-game trip of the season.
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