RALEIGH | In the West, there will be talk of a final between Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon, two of the best forwards in the world. In the East, we will publish several texts on the duel between two of the best goalkeepers in the NHL, Andreï Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin.
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Shesterkin meets the media following the Rangers' 6-2 Game 7 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
If at Madison Square Garden he answers questions in his mother tongue, Shesterkin found himself without the help of his interpreter who translates from Russian to English yesterday. The New York masked man has shown that he is doing just as well in the language of Mark Messier.
"Vasilevskiy is the best in the world right now," he said of his duel against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Finals. I believe it will be a good battle. We will do our best to score against him. »
"I know 'Vasi,'" Shesterkin continued. He is not a close friend. But I have already played against him in junior teams in Russia. I watched him play on TV in the last round against the Florida Panthers. He was terrific. However, it is more difficult to notice details when you are watching another goalkeeper on TV. »
Gerard Gallant also played it safe heading into this showdown against the Lightning, the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup winners. He retrieved his goalie's cookbook, making sure not to set it on fire in the hut even before the first game.
“Igor is a great goalkeeper,” noted the Rangers head coach. We know it and we suspect that he will win the Vézina trophy this year. He's amazing to us. However, Vasilevskiy has won the Stanley Cup twice in the past two seasons. I expect a very good series. »
Chris Kreider scored two goals in Game 7. Mika Zibanejad had three assists. Adam Fox had a goal and an assist. Artemi Panarin collected a point. Shesterkin blocked 37 shots. And Jacob Trouba has pulled out his big shoulders again. This New York victory was not the story of a single player.
"We played our best game of the series, it was a perfect effort from all of our players," Gallant said. I'm really happy with my team. We finally found a way to win in this building [the PNC Arena]. »
"You win in the playoffs when you have 20 players pushing in the same direction," Kreider said. This was the case in this seventh game. There are 12 different players who wrote their names on the score sheet [yesterday]. »