As the Rangers welcomed the Colorado Avalanche to the Garden on Tuesday, Igor Shesterkin made his first career NHL start between the pipes for the home team.
Despite facing an early 2-0 deficit, the Rangers fought back to come away with a 5-3 win.
Less than five minutes into the game, the Avs struck first, after a shot from the point was deflected past Shesterkin by JT Compher, as Colorado scored on their very first shot on goal of the game.
Just a couple of minutes later, the Rangers turned the puck over in their own zone, giving Nathan MacKinnon a breakaway, beating Shesterkin to give Colorado two goals on two shots.
Midway through the period, the Rangers answered back on the power play, with Ryan Strome feeding Chris Kreider down low for the easy redirect, bringing the Blueshirts within one goal at 2-1. Later, Mika Zibanejad lit the lamp to even things up 2-2.
The score held that way until nearly the midway point of the second, when a Brady Skjei slap shot from the point found the back of the net, giving the Rangers their first lead of the game. And after Compher scored his second goal of the game to knot things at 3-3, Strome scored to put the Rangers back up 4-3 at the end of the second.
In the third period, the Avs sent a barrage of shots Shesterkin's way, including a number of man advantages, but the rookie stood tall in net, and in the game's final minute, Artemi Panarin added an empty-netter, giving the Rangers a 5-3 win and earning Shesterkin a victory in his first NHL start.
Originally a fourth-round pick of the Rangers in 2014, Shesterkin has been dominant at the AHL level this season, posting a 15-4-3 record with Hartford, with a 1.93 goals against average.
Colorado entered Tuesday's game as the highest-scoring team in the NHL, averaging 3.63 goals per game, and proved to provide quite the first test for the 24-year-old netminder.
Overall, he stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced, and after a shaky start, he rebounded well to earn the win.