With rookie goaltender Igor Shesterkin still considered day-to-day as he continues to nurse a groin strain, Alexandar Georgiev will be back in net for the Rangers on Thursday night in Boston.
It will be the Rangers’ fourth-straight game without Shesterkin as an option in goal. Since relieving Shesterkin in the last six minutes of regulation, after he was injured in the 6-1 win over the Devils on March 4, Georgiev has given up six goals in his last two starts. After giving up three goals on six shots in the first period of the 5-1 loss to the Penguins on Sunday, Georgiev was replaced by Keith Kinkaid, who was recalled from the taxi squad in the wake of Shesterkin’s injury.
It has been a tough stretch for Georgiev, who has given up goals without getting screened and has struggled on breakaways recently. In the first game after Shesterkin’s injury, a 6-3 win at the Devils, the Rangers were up 2-0 before Georgiev gave up a point shot to P.K. Subban and then a breakaway tally to Mikhail Maltsev in the span of 17 seconds.
The 25-year-old Georgiev has posted a 4-3-2 record through 10 starts and 11 appearances so far this season. He currently owns a 3.03 goals against average and a .897 save percentage, which is a career-low for him through four seasons in New York.
Considering the Rangers recently signed Mason Geertsen, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound semi-enforcer who has 519 NHL penalty minutes to his name, it’s worth asking if the organization inked him to the two-way deal last week in anticipation of facing a physical Bruins squad.
“He’s a guy we’ve liked for a long time, so he certainly has earned that opportunity to get an NHL contract,” head coach David Quinn said Wednesday. “We haven’t had any discussions about calling anybody up, obviously [general manager Jeff Gorton] and I will talk this afternoon, we talk every day about these types of things.
“Calling somebody up is always on the table, but as of right now, that hasn’t been something that we’ve talked about.”
Geertsen, 25, agreed to terms on an AHL contract with the Wolf Pack on Sept. 29. In 60 games in 2019-20, he recorded eight assists with 109 penalty minutes, which led all AHL defensemen. This season, Geertsen has one assist to go along with 16 penalty minutes.
Former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan will join MSG Networks’ Rangers broadcast team for the next two games, against the Bruins on Thursday and Saturday.
The 13-year NHL veteran will appear in studio with John Giannone and Steve Valiquette, who will join remotely, to provide analysis in the network’s pregame and postgame shows, as well as during intermissions.
Callahan retired from the NHL in December after he was diagnosed with a degenerative back disease.