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Rangers' Shesterkin Shuts Out Sharks in Return to Lineup

SAN JOSE (AP) -- Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves in his return from COVID-19 protocol, Braden Schneider scored in his NHL debut and the New York Rangers beat the San Jose Sharks 3-0 on Thursday night.

Chris Kreider got his first career short-handed goal and an empty-netter to reach 200 goals as the Rangers followed up a 1-0 victory over the Sharks at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 3 with another shutout less than six weeks later.

Adin Hill stopped 27 shots for the Sharks, who failed in their attempt to match a season-high four-game winning streak. San Jose has lost seven straight against the Rangers.

Shesterkin was activated from the COVID-19 list earlier in the day and was sharp in his first action since Jan. 2, when he had a 38-save shutout against Tampa Bay.

He stopped Andrew Cogliano on a breakaway in the second period and then made another big stop late in the second on a deflection from Tomas Hertl.

Shesterkin had 19 saves in the first meeting with the Sharks before leaving early in the third period with a lower-body injury.

Kreider gave the Rangers the lead in the first period when he converted just seconds after Ryan Strome went to the penalty box for cross-checking.

Mika Zibanejad won the ensuing faceoff, sparking a quick rush. Zibanejad then fed Kreider, who scored the first short-handed goal of his 10-year career. Kreider had been used sparingly killing penalties during his career until taking on a regular role on the unit this season.

It was the sixth short-handed goal allowed by San Jose this season, tied for most in the NHL.

The 20-year-old Schneider, drafted 19th overall in 2020 after New York traded up to get him, added some insurance early in the third when Strome set him up in the high slot.

Schneider became the seventh Rangers defenseman to score a goal in his NHL debut and first since Thomas Pock against Pittsburgh on March 23, 2004.


Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba had a couple of run-ins with Sharks in the second period. First, he and Timo Meier took turns taking shots at each other before getting sent off for coincidental minors.

Then, soon after Trouba got out of the penalty box, he got into a fight with Jeffrey Viel and went right back in for five more minutes.


The Rangers announced before the game that forward Alexis Lafrenière entered COVID-19 protocol and Lauri Pajuniemi was added to the roster.

The Sharks are also down a forward after Alexander Barabanov tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed in protocol, but San Jose get another one back.

Rudolfs Balcers, who had missed the last six weeks with a lower-body injury, returned to the lineup for the first time since getting hurt in New York against the Rangers on Dec. 3.


Sharks: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

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