Lost in the shuffle of the Michael Grabner trade was a strong debut by rookie goalie Alexandar Georgiev.
The bottom-dwelling New York Rangers started rookie goaltender Alexandar Georgiev in Montreal last night. Though the team lost another game, no surprise there, the 22-year-old Georgiev was strong in his 3-1 debut loss as he made 38 saves on 40 shots against him.
Georgiev's debut in goal was a rare bright spot amid another desultory #NYR loss. O'Gara makes Rangers' debut. Lettieri and Carey come in for Nash and Grabner (before trade). Notes… https://t.co/CWQE4STDtD
— Brett Cyrgalis (@BrettCyrgalis) February 23, 2018
Alain Vigneault told New York Post Brett Cyrgalis, “ he played a good game, he did what a goaltender is supposed to, he gave our team a chance.”
Georgiev was excited to get started on his first NHL game, “It was fun from the first second of warm-ups” he said. “I was kind of nervous, of course, but no more than usual.”
Georgie was called up On Feb. 10 when backup goalie Ondrej Pavelec suffered an MCL sprain. He was originally supposed to get his first start last weekend, but came down with the Flu and was scratched from the lineup. Georgiev was outstanding playing for the Hartford Wolf Pack, compiling an 8-0-1 record, with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .948 save percentage in his previous nine games played prior to his call-up.
Georgiev is number two on the Rangers depth charts as Igor Shestyorkin is the top goalie prospect in the organization. Shestyorkin is currently under contract in the KHL, so the team wanted to see what Georgiev could do at the NHL.
“My first save was a bit bouncy, but after that, I just played my game,” Georgiev said. “It was very fun.”
The Rangers coaching staff has not said when the next time Georgiev will get his next start, but it was nice to see another kid come up from the Wolf Pack and play a strong steady game.
Following Thursday nights game Rangers announced a trade with the New Jersey Devils sending Michael Grabner to the Devils for a 2018 second round pick and Yegor Rykov, who was New Jersey’s 2016 fifth-round pick (No. 132 overall) and is currently playing for SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.