Mackenzie Skapski Earns First Career Shutout
The New York Rangers received yet another strong goaltending performance on Saturday night, but this time it came from 20 year old rookie Mackenzie Skapski.
With Henrik Lundqvist still out with a throat injury, and Cam Talbot in desperate need of a break, Skapski received his second career start against the Buffalo Sabres.
He would reward the Rangers with a 20 save performance for his first career shutout, topping his first appearance in which he stopped 24 of 25 shots, also against Buffalo.
For the first time in Rangers history, the team has benefited from shutouts from three different goaltenders in one season. Talbot and Lundqvist are tied with five each, and now Skapski is on the board.
Skapski, a 6th round pick in 2013, has had to overcome more obstacles than the typical 20 year old to reach this point.
At age 15, while playing for his local Abbotsford, BC midget hockey team, the team bus was involved in an accident while travelling to Prince George, BC. Most of the players were unharmed, but Skapski suffered a broken nose and shattered orbital bone.
After being airlifted to hospital, Skapski underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain, and put plates in his face. There were serious doubts about if he would continue his playing career.
Luckily, Skapski would persevere and make a full recovery after a long absence from the game, and he ended up having a fantastic junior career with the Kootenay Ice.
In his first pro season, he has played in one ECHL game, 24 AHL games, and now 2 NHL games – allowing only a single goal against with the Rangers.
It’s not difficult to root for Skapski after hearing the story of how he reached the NHL, and he’s certainly making a name for himself with his performance this season.
It’ll be tough for him to crack that roster when Lundqvist returns from injury, but he’s shown that he is very capable of playing at the NHL level.