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Maurice: Shesterkin 'was brilliant' in Eastern Conference Final

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Panthers head coach Paul Maurice had nothing but good things to say about Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin after Florida eliminated New York in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final on Saturday.

Maurice called Shesterkin's goaltending performance the best he had witnessed in over 20 years.

"I haven't seen a series by a goaltender like that since Jose Theodore in 2002," Maurice said postgame. "He won the Hart Trophy that year. We had a very similar experience until the last game where he was just lights out."

Maurice added: "(Shesterkin) was brilliant in this series."

Theodore posted a .931 save percentage in the 2001-02 campaign to earn the NHL's MVP award. He led the Montreal Canadiens to a major upset over the Boston Bruins in Round 1 that year but lost to the Maurice-led Carolina Hurricanes in Round 2. Theodore sported a .966 save percentage in the first three games of that series against Carolina before coming down to earth. Maurice's Canes lost in the 2002 Stanley Cup Final.

Shesterkin was undoubtedly the Rangers' best player of the 2024 postseason. He recorded a .926 save percentage in the playoffs, including a .930 mark in the Eastern Conference Final.

However, the Rangers weren't entirely great in front of their netminder, getting outshot in 13 of 16 games this postseason and surrendering an average of 33 shots per contest.

"He had a heck of a series. I thought Igor was outstanding," Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette said. "We controlled some of the volume and brought some of the chances down, but at the end of the day, they're still a dangerous team, and they're capable of creating. You're sitting there at 1-0, and he had to make a couple of really big saves to keep it at 1-0 to allow us to continue to push. I thought he was excellent. He was fantastic the entire series."

Shesterkin, the 2022 Vezina Trophy winner, is entering the final year of his contract and is eligible to sign an extension on July 1.

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