The Rangers are turning back to goaltender Alexandar Georgiev for Wednesday’s matchup with the Flyers after going with backup Keith Kinkaid the previous two games.
While Igor Shesterkin continues to work his way back from a groin strain, head coach David Quinn said the Rangers need to give Georgiev another shot in light of Kinkaid’s recent workload.
“[Georgiev has] got a good track record. He’s obviously been struggling a little bit, but Kinkaid’s played a lot of hockey in a short period of time here,” Quinn said following practice Tuesday. “We want to get Georgiev back in, and we’re going to need him. But that being said, you got to play well.
“We’ve got to make sure that we put the best goalie in there, and we know what he’s capable of doing, and we know that if we’re going to have success we need him.”
Georgiev has been pulled in each of his past two starts, first in a 5-1 loss to the Penguins on March 7 then in a 4-0 loss to Bruins on Thursday. The 25-year-old Bulgarian currently owns a 4-4-2 record with a 3.33 goals-against average and an .887 save percentage.
“I’m not so sure that it’s the physical aspect. I think it’s more of a mental piece for him, and [goaltending coach Benoit Allaire] has been working with him obviously,” Quinn said. “That’s something that Georgiev has been pretty good at, he’s been pretty mentally tough since he’s been here. Every player goes through a stretch maybe that’s not the best, and he’s kind of going through that right now. We’re anticipating him getting out of it.”
In games that have been decided in overtime this season, the Rangers are 1-3 after losing to the Flyers, 5-4, on Monday. Their only victory in an extra period dates back to Alexis Lafreniere’s first NHL goal, an OT game-winner on Jan. 28 in Buffalo.
The Rangers have had six games go to overtime — two of those were decided in a shootout. They are currently 1-1 in the skills competition.
Last season, the Rangers were 5-3 in games decided in overtime. Out of 11 matchups that weren’t completed in regulation, the Rangers had three go to shootouts, and they went 1-2.
“One of the things [Monday], I thought we had possession I don’t think we [took] advantage of, and I don’t think that we ran enough interference and picks,” Quinn said. “I didn’t think that we tried to penetrate inside enough. I thought we kind of let them off the hook and we had a chance to maybe exploit them a little bit,… we had them tired and we made some changes.
“We just got to make better decisions on the three-on-three. We’ve made some costly mistakes in the games that we have lost, which can happen, but it’s an area that we’ve got make sure we clean up.”
The Rangers were waiting for updates on Adam Fox, Pavel Buchnevich and Phil Di Giuseppe, who were in the COVID-19 protocol as of Tuesday.