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Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin regained dominant form during perfect month of February

It was a start of the season to forget for Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin.

Shesterkin missed a handful of games after leaving an early December contest against the San Jose Sharks due to a lower-body injury, and upon returning he never quite showed his dominant form.

He endured one of the worst month-long stretches of his career, posting a 3.25 goals against average and .863 save percentage while losing five of his ten starts in January.

Despite that, Shesterkin was named to the All-Star Game for the third consecutive season, and since returning from the break he’s looked like a completely different player between the pipes for the Blueshirts.

The 28-year-old followed up his sluggish January with an extremely dominant February.

Shesterkin is looking like a star of the month candidate after winning all seven of his contests, and allowing just one goal in six of them en route to a stellar 1.72 GAA and .953 save percentage over that span.

“He’s doing good, we’re proud of him,” winger Artemi Panarin said.

“It’s nice knowing you have him back there,” defenseman Ryan Lindgren added. “He’s been huge keeping us in games. He’s incredible, both of our goalies are, but Shesty’s been outstanding lately.”

The one-time Vezina Trophy winner now has his numbers on the year back around his career norms.

Shesterkin sits in the top ten in the league in wins (26) and save percentage (.911) while also posting a 2.62 goals against average and one shutout, which came this month in a 29-save effort against the Flames.

“He’s been really good,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “He seems really focused right now. We’ve still let up some big chances but he’s stepped up and made some big saves when we’ve needed them.”

After winning all but one of their games during the month of February, the Rangers currently sit atop the league standings with a stellar 40-17-3 record for a total of 83 points through 60 games played.

If the Rangers hope to keep this train rolling down the final stretch of the season and into a potentially deep playoff run, Shesterkin knows he’s going to need to carry over that dominant form.

“Of course it’s nice, I hope February will continue into March,” he said.