The New York Rangers are still alive in their NHL Eastern Conference second-round series vs. The Carolina Hurricanes.
The Blueshirts trail the series, 3-2, and can nhl playoff tickets tie things Saturday night at 8 p.M. When Game 6 is conducted at Madison Square Garden.
WATCH THE GAME ON FUBOTV
Tickets for the big game are on sale at Vividseats.Com. The cheapest seats are $188. Prices rise to as high as $8,700.
Ticketmaster (starting at $224) and StubHub (starting at $200) also have tickets available.
Expect prices to fluctuate as the game draws closer and demand rises or falls.
BETTING PREVIEW: Game 6 predictions and player props: Chris Kreider to score as Rangers force a Game 7
Igor Shesterkin pulls the mask up on top of his head, takes a sip of water and looks around. Instead of squirting the bottle through the cage and shuffling back into position, he takes a few seconds to soak in the atmosphere.
“He has that grin like he’s loving every aspect of it,” retired goaltender Martin Biron said. “He’s got some cocky confidence to him.”
That confidence has made Shesterkin the face of the Rangers franchise and successor to Henrik Lundqvist as the new king of New York.
The 26-year-old Russian goaltender now hears fans yelling, “I-gor! I-gor!” in the same cadence of “Hen-rik! Hen-rik!” that reverberated off the walls of Madison Square Garden for more than a decade. He knows he is charged with trying to win the Original Six organization’s first Stanley Cup title since 1994.
The Rangers are down 3-2 and face a must-win Game 6 at home Saturday night against Carolina in the second round.
“I feel no pressure as a player,” Shesterkin said recently through an interpreter. “I do understand the gravity of the situation. This city, this team definitely deserve a Cup and we’re giving our best to try to make that happen.”
Shesterkin has the talent and the personality to handle being at the center of the maelstrom that is tending goal for the Rangers. Being a starting goaltender in any NHL market comes with a certain spotlight, but it shines brighter in New York City, especially given there has only been one hockey championship parade down the “Canyon of Heroes” in more than 80 years.
“He wants that mantle,” said Mike Richter, who was the goalie in 1994 when the Rangers won the Cup. “You can’t back into New York or any starting goaltending position in the NHL and decide that you don’t want to play a pivotal role in the success or failure of the team.”
Arguably no one played more of a pivotal role in his team’s success this season than Shesterkin, who led the league with a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage to help the Rangers make the traditional 16-team playoffs for the first time since 2017.
He is a Hart Trophy finalist for NHL MVP, the first goalie to finish top three in voting since Sergei Bobrovsky in 2017 and just the second since Lundqvist a decade ago.
Lundqvist, who was bought out by the Rangers in 2020 in part to clear a path for Shesterkin, knew right away his heir apparent was right for the job.
“He worked hard — great attitude from Day One — and you could tell his skill level was there,” said Lundqvist, now an analyst for MSG Network. “The success we’re seeing, it’s not a surprise at all.”
Lundqvist and Stephen Valiquette noted the work of longtime Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire, who has been known to write “Become a master” on the ice in marker before practice.
“Allaire used to say to us: ‘Keep the bubble nice and tight. Don’t let it get too big, or it’s going to burst,’” said Valiquette, who played 41 of his 48 NHL games for the Rangers and has gone on to become an MSG analyst and run his own analytics company. “Allaire is so good at getting us to buy into the process and really focus on what’s important, so you’re not thinking about the result.”
After showing remarkable consistency most of the season and stopping 118 of 124 shots in his first two playoff starts, Shesterkin struggled midway through the first round against Pittsburgh. He was pulled from Game 3 after allowing four goals on 15 shots and gave up six more to lose Game 4, putting the Rangers down 3-1 in the series.
While plenty of buzz was swirling about the possibility of backup Alexandar Georgiev starting Game 5 to give Shesterkin a breather, coach Gerard Gallant never wavered. Shesterkin found his game to get the results the Rangers needed to come back and knock off the Penguins.
Then, when New York trailed Carolina 2-0 in the second round, Shesterkin was otherworldly in turning aside 73 of 75 Hurricanes shots to even the series.
“All he did was put his equipment on and go to work,” Richter said. “That showed some real focus and the ability to block out anything that’s not particularly helpful. That’s a real mature response by him and the whole team and it bodes well for the future.”
While the Rangers rebuild was supposed to be a longer-term project, the future is now thanks in large part to Shesterkin, who has shown glimpses of relishing the situation like Lundqvist did. The veteran Swede, who was forced to give up hopes of playing after tests revealed a heart condition, knows exactly what it takes to fill that role. He sees those qualities in Shesterkin.
“He lives his life, he’s focused on the game, but then away from the game he can focus on friends, family and that’s healthy to your game not to get carried away in this city,” Lundqvist said. “There’s a lot of people that want a piece of you and do this and do that and it all comes down to your personality, too: what you want to do. But in the end, it comes down to be ready when you come to the rink. It seems like he lives in his little bubble, and I think that helps in the long run.”
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The New York Rangers will head back to New York on Thursday for Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals series against the Tampa Bay Lightning to try and take the lead again.
The Lightning won Game 4 against the Rangers 4-1 on Tuesday to tie the series 2-2. The Rangers won the first two games of the series at home but have struggled to secure a win on the road.
Game 5 will be at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The game will start at 8 p.M. EST on Thursday, June 9 and will air on TV via ESPN. Fans looking to catch the game live can shop around for last minutes tickets online at StubHub, VividSeats and TicketNetwork.
Tickets for Thursday’s game start at $397 on StubHub, $329 on VividSeats and $434 on TicketNetwork.
More information from the Associated Press:
The Tampa Bay Lightning delivered on a promise to play with a greater sense of urgency, storming back in the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Rangers and keeping their bid for a third straight Stanley Cup title alive.
Nikita Kucherov scored on a breakaway and Andrei Vasilevskiy had 33 saves Tuesday night, helping the two-time defending NHL champions shut down the Rangers 4-1 and even the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
“We’ve got ourselves squared up in this series. It’s great, much better than the position we were in a couple days ago. But this is where it gets down to the really tough stuff,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said.
“These next couple of games, we have to go on the road and we have to find a way to win a game in their barn,” Stamkos added. “We’re looking forward to that challenge, but I really like where our game is now compared to where it was a couple days ago.”
Kucherov took a pass from Ondrej Palat in the middle of the ice and skated in on goaltender Igor Shesterkin to give the Lightning a two-goal lead just over 13 minutes into the second period.
With Vasilevskiy back on his game following a slow start to the series, that turned out to be more than enough offensive support to hold off a Rangers team that’s suddenly found it difficult to score.
“They did a great job in the neutral zone. They collapsed pretty good in the ‘D’ zone. They blocked a lot of shots. They did the right things to win a hockey game,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said of the Lightning.
Stamkos, Palat and Pat Maroon had goals for Tampa Bay, which has rebounded from losing the first two games of the series on the road to bolster its chances of becoming the first team in nearly 40 years to win three consecutive Stanley Cup championships.
Game 5 is Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers won Games 1 and 2 and are 8-1 this postseason.
“We’ve done a good job at home. I think if you look around the league a lot of teams play better in their home building,” Gallant said.
“I’m disappointed tonight. I’m sure (the players) are,” the coach added. “But it’s a best two out of three, we still have the home-ice advantage, so we have to make sure we’re ready for the next game. The next one is big.”
Vasilevskiy stopped 28 of 30 shots to win Game 3 and was even better Tuesday night, when he extended a stretch in which he did not give up a goal to nearly 67 minutes before New York’s Artemi Panarin scored on the power play at 16:27 of the third period.
Until Vasilevskiy’s bid for a shutout ended, the Rangers hadn’t scored since Chris Kreider’s power-play goal put them up 2-0 at 9:44 of the second period in Game 3.
It has been all Tampa Bay since then, with Kucherov and Stamkos scoring to wipe out the Game 3 deficit before Palat won it in the final minute.
The defending champs started faster Tuesday night, scoring on Maroon’s rebound just 2:38 into the game.
It was the third goal of the playoffs for Maroon, a 34-year-old, fourth-line forward who’s chasing a fourth consecutive Stanley Cup title after winning with St. Louis in 2019 and signing with Tampa Bay before the following season.
Stamkos’ goal built the lead to 3-0 early in the third period. Palat added an empty-netter with 8.7 seconds remaining, finishing with a goal and two assists.
Shesterkin, who faced 51 shots in Game 3, stopped 27 of 30 shots Tuesday night.
“We’ve progressively gotten better, and I think we took some more positive steps tonight,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “We had a bit of a layoff, and I think now we’re starting to find our game. Now, we just have to keep this going in New York.”
It takes 16 wins to sip from Lord Stanley’s cup and the Colorado Avalanche are just three away from hoisting one of the most iconic trophies in sports. They were preseason favorites and made the playoffs look easy, going 12-2 this postseason and a stunning 7-0 on the road. They swept the Edmonton Oilers in four games in the Western Conference finals and are looking to win their first Stanley Cup since 2001. The Avalanche are up 1-0 in the series after Andre Burakovsky buried a goal in overtime to seal the win in game 1.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the midst of creating a modern-day hockey dynasty. They’re looking to become the first team to win three consecutive championships since the New York Islanders won four straight in the early 1980s. After a rocky start to the Eastern Conference finals, the Lightning battled back from a 2-0 deficit to win four straight and are now heading back to the Stanley Cup Final for the third year in a row. They’ll have to pull themselves out of another early deficit in order to keep their three-peat hopes alive.
Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche will air tonight at 8 p.M. ET (5 p.M. PT). All Stanley Cup Final games will appear live on ABC and ESPN Plus.
While you can use an antenna, thanks to live TV streaming services, cord-cutters can stream all the action with no cable subscription required. Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch or stream the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Final.
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