Igor Shesterkin is the best goaltender in the NHL right now. If you didn’t know that already, you certainly do after his historic performance in Game 1 of the Rangers-Penguins series.
The New York goaltender did everything he could to get the Rangers the win, making 79 saves in the 4-3 triple overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Evgeni Malkin finally tipped a shot past Shesterkin 5:58 into the third overtime to send the Penguins home with the victory and 1-0 series lead.
It was a duel between Shesterkin and the combination of Casey DeSmith and Louis Domingue. DeSmith left midway through the second overtime period with cramps, forcing Domingue into the game. He made 17 saves in just over 16 minutes of ice time.
Despite the losing effort, Shesterkin etched himself into NHL playoff history. His 79 stops are the second-most saves in an NHL playoff game in history.
It might be only one game so far, but Shesterkin showed that his stellar play this season is not just limited to the regular season. The Rangers will continue to rely on the Vezina favorite as they hope to grab their first playoff series win since 2017.
MORE: Ranking the top 5 goaltenders in the 2022 NHL playoffs
Most saves in a NHL playoff game
People likely remember the Lightning-Blue Jackets Game 1 contest in 2020 that took five overtimes to finish. Not only was it one of the longest games in NHL playoff history, but Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo set a record for most saves in a NHL playoff game with 85. He let in just three goals in 88 shots, but that third goal was Brayden Point’s winner in the fifth overtime.
Shesterkin comes in after him with his 79-save performance and then it is Kelly Hrudey of the Islanders, who made 73 saves in a 3-2 win for New York over Washington in 1987.
Of the 11-best save totals in playoff history, the goalies are just 6-5 in those games.
|Joonas Korpisalo||Columbus Blue Jackets||August 11, 2020||Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2||85|
|Igor Shesterkin||New York Rangers||May 3, 2022||Penguins 4, Rangers 3||79|
|Kelly Hrudey||New York Islanders||April 18, 1987||Islanders 3, Capitals 2||73|
|Ed Belfour||Toronto Maple Leafs||April 16, 2003||Flyers 3, Maple Leafs 2||72|
|Roberto Luongo||Vancouver Canucks||April 11, 2007||Canucks 5, Stars 4||72|
|Dominik Hasek||Buffalo Sabres||April 27, 1994||Sabres 1, Devils 0||70|
|Mikhail Shtalenkov||Anaheim Ducks||May 8, 1997||Red Wings 3, Ducks 2||70|
|Ron Tugnutt||Pittsburgh Penguins||May 4, 2000||Flyers 2, Penguins 1||70|
|Jean-Sebastien Giguere||Anaheim Ducks||April 10, 2003||Ducks 2, Red Wings 1||63|
|Bernie Parent||Philadelphia Flyers||May 16, 1968||Flyers 2, Blues 1||63|
|Patrick Roy||Colorado Avalanche||June 10, 1996||Avalanche 1, Panthers 0||63|