Rangers' Gerard Gallant on Penguins' Igor Shesterkin hit: 'There's no reason for it'

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Igor Shesterkin makes save vs. Penguins in first round of playoffs
Igor Shesterkin makes save vs. Penguins in first round of playoffs

The third period was all Rangers in their Game 2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. But with 2:04 left in the game, Penguins' forward Jeff Carter skated into Igor Shesterkin, sending him to the ice in a considerable amount of pain.

It's never what you want to see in a game where the result was decided even though the final horn hadn't sounded yet. So you'd expect this answer from head coach Gerard Gallant on the situation:

"I wasn’t too happy obviously in a game like that," he told reporters after the game. "There’s no reason for it and I was disappointed them going after him a little bit like that. Carter’s a good honest player. But it just didn’t look good to me.”

Luckily, Shesterkin stayed in the game after trainers checked him out on the ice. Obviously, he's a piece the Rangers need in net if they wish to fulfill their Stanley Cup dreams, let alone just win their first round series.

"Yeah, I feel great. I just landed pretty poorly," he said through a translator.

Before all this occurred, Shesterkin was on his game yet again. Just as Gallant said on Tuesday, he's not surprised that Shesterkin was all good after the triple-overtime loss where he saved 79 of 83 shots on him. He showed that in this one.

On 41 shots, Shesterkin tallied 39 saves. And a lot of them were high-quality chances, like Bryan Rust's breakaway in the second period that his right pad thrusted away to keep the Rangers' lead in tact. The goals that he did allow were rebound chances, one from Jake Guentzel, who tallied his third goal of the series already, and Sidney Crosby after Guentzel threw one on net.

Other than that, though, Shesterkin was everything he's been all season, as the Vezina frontrunner locked it down enough for the Rangers to head to Pittsburgh tied at one apiece.

And fortunately for the Blueshirts, there doesn't seem to be any questions about his health heading into Game 3 on Saturday.