Rangers begin West Coast swing with bout vs. Kraken

Igor Shesterkin admitted he wasn’t feeling very well before Sunday’s game against Arizona.

But once the puck dropped, he was fine.

Shesterkin made 31 saves in the New York Rangers’ 4-1 victory, including 17 in a scoreless first period.

The Rangers will open a four-game, West Coast trip Thursday when they visit the Seattle Kraken.

“I felt not good before the game, but when I face 15 or so shots in the first period I woke up and tried to play my game,” Shesterkin said. “When I face a lot of shots, I feel more confident. I keep in the game and I started to see all the shots.”

Defenseman Adam Fox had a goal and an assist, extending his point streak to six games, and Barclay Goodrow, Chris Kreider and Ryan Carpenter also scored for the Rangers, who have won two of their past three games since losing three straight.

“Basically, half the game we didn’t play good hockey, but we found a way to stick with it,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said. “I hate to sit here and say, ‘Hurrah, we won,’ when we didn’t play that well and after games we lose we play better.

“You’ve got to stay level-headed with your game and over the course of the season things are going to work out. That’s the belief you’ve got to have that things kind of work themselves out over the long term, but that’s not a recipe we want to rely on, not getting pucks to the net, not shooting pucks, not having good starts.”

The Rangers killed a pair of penalties midway through the second period to keep the score 0-0 before their offense finally got untracked, with Goodrow scoring at 15:05 and Fox at 16:23.

“I’m pretty happy with that because before that we were pretty stale and slow, and that PK gave us a good boost,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “That was the best chances and that’s really why I think our team changed from that point on.”

The Kraken have also been idle since Sunday, when they suffered a 3-2 overtime loss to Winnipeg. The Jets tied the score with 5.4 seconds remaining in regulation on a six-on-four advantage with their goalie pulled and Seattle’s Carson Soucy in the penalty box for punching Pierre-Luc Dubois in the back of the head with 25 seconds left.

“We put ourselves in position to win the game, and three minor penalties (in the third) is probably the thing that stands out,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “When you do that in the third period, down to the last 30 seconds, that’s a tough way to close out a hockey game.”

Jordan Eberle and Brandon Tanev scored, and Martin Jones made 27 saves for Seattle, which has lost two in a row following a franchise-record, five-game winning streak.

The Kraken, whose penalty kill hadn’t been scored upon in the previous six games, allowed the Jets to go 2-for-7 with the man advantage.

“That stinks, and just seven penalties, myself included, it’s just not understanding the situation,” Eberle said. “That hurts just when you have the game, and obviously Jones is playing well back there, you keep giving them opportunities. Yeah, that hurts. Those are never ones that you, you know, they’re tough to get over.”

–Field Level Media