Rangers' Igor Shesterkin named Vezina Trophy finalist

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Igor Shesterkin Rangers close up white jersey
Igor Shesterkin Rangers close up white jersey

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin has been named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, the award given to the best goaltender of the league each year.

Shesterkin, who at one point was in legitimate conversation for the Hart Trophy, is the heavy favorite to win the Vezina, which would be the first of his career. It also would be the time a Ranger won the award since Henrik Lundqvist in the 2011-12 season, when the Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Shesterkin led the NHL with a 2.07 GAA and a .935 save percentage. However, he sure isn't playing like he did in the regular season. The defense hasn't helped him one bit, but he was pulled from Game 3 after allowing four first-period goals, and was pulled again in Game 4 after allowing five goals, four of them in the second period. He and Alexandar Georgiev have had the same amount of ice time in the Rangers' last two games.

Shesterkin and the Blueshirts will now have to starve off elimination and win three straight against the Penguins, the first of which will be Game 5 Wednesday night at MSG at 7:00 p.m.

The other two finalists are Nashville Predators' Juuse Saros and Calgary Flames' Jacob Markstrom.