Rangers fans may have feared the worst when goalie Igor Shesterkin left Thursday night’s win over the Devils in obvious pain, but it appears the rookie avoided serious injury.
The Rangers announced on Friday that Shesterkin is day-to-day with a “mild groin strain,” certainly a better outcome than what many feared when he was helped off the ice on Friday, unable to put any weight on his right leg after making a save against New Jersey’s Damon Severson in the third period.
Shesterkin, 25, has made himself the team’s top goalie this season, posting a .921 save percentage in 15 games. He went down with just under six minutes left in Thursday’s game after sliding across the crease to stop a Severson shot in a 6-1 win for the Rangers, one in which Shesterkin’s goaltending kept New York afloat through the first period before the offense awakened.
The Rangers said former Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid will slide into the backup role behind Alexandar Georgiev until Shesterkin is ready to return.
New York does get a reinforcement after losing Shesterkin, as winger Kaapo Kakko has been cleared to return on Saturday after being out since Feb. 20 due to COVID-19 protocols.
Follow Ryan Chichester on Twitter: @ryanchichester1