Coach Gerard Gallant says the New York Rangers might not be perfect but are finding ways to win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs – helped by netminder Igor Shesterkin.
The Rangers, 13/2 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22, reached the Eastern Conference Final with a 6-2 win in Game 7 of the second round over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
They will meet the two-time defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning for a place in the Stanley Cup Final, with the best-of-seven series set to begin on Thursday.
In round one against the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York were 3-1 down and won three consecutive games to progress to round two where they trailed the Hurricanes 2-0 and 3-2 before turning the series around.
Now 5-0 in must-win games this post-season, Gallant has praised the resiliency of his team, particularly giving credit to netminder Igor Shesterkin who in the five elimination games has produced a sensational .930 save-percentage, giving up just 13 goals on 186 shots.
Shesterkin, a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the regular season most valuable player, is 7-3 with a .939 save percentage and 2.09 goals-against average since Game 5 of the first round.
58-year-old Gallant led the Rangers to second place in the Metropolitan Division in his first season in charge (52-24-6).
He will aim to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in his ten-year NHL coaching career after leading the Golden Knights to a surprise appearance in their inaugural season of 2017/18.
Gallant said to the media: "I've said it a hundred times this year, we're not perfect, but we find ways to win."