Igor Shesterkin #31 of the Rangers looks on during the...

Igor Shesterkin #31 of the Rangers looks on during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden on Monday, April 15, 2024. Credit: Jim McIsaac

GREENBURGH — K’Andre Miller insisted there was never any worry in the Rangers’ locker room about the struggles Igor Shesterkin was having in the first half of the season. Not even when the goaltender’s save percentage fell below .900 and his goals-against average was just below 3.00.

“Not at all,’’ the defenseman said Saturday after the Rangers’ final practice before they begin the playoffs with Game 1 against the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

“I mean, yeah, you go through a little lull, and that’s gonna happen in an 82-game season,’’ Miller said. “And I think [Shesterkin]’s done everything to get his confidence back and get back to the way he wants to play.’’

Of course, it’s easy to say that now after Shesterkin finished the season with a 36-17-2 record, a 2.58 GAA, a .913 save percentage and four shutouts to help the Rangers capture the Presidents’ Trophy for posting the league’s best record in the regular season.

But at the NHL All-Star break in late January, when the 28-year-old Russian was 19-12-1 with a 2.86 GAA, a .899 save percentage and no shutouts, people were wondering what was wrong with Shesterkin. He’d been chosen to take part in All-Star Weekend, but in his last 10 games entering the break, he certainly hadn’t looked like an All-Star, going 4-5-1 with a 3.24 GAA and .863 save percentage.

Things turned around drastically for him after the break, though. Coach Peter Laviolette started backup goalie Jonathan Quick in the first two games after the team returned to action, and Shesterkin spent a week working closely with goalie coach Benoit Allaire in an attempt to fix his game.

Whatever they did during that time worked. Shesterkin went 17-5-2 with a 2.20 GAA and .929 save percentage in his final 24 starts.

“I think for everybody, the top offensive players, the top defensive players, the top goaltenders, there’s always some ups and downs inside of a very successful season for a player,’’ Laviolette said. “And this was just an opportunity where we felt we had a few days just to give him some work on the ice and see if we can’t take that game to the next level, like he’s, I think, accustomed to. And I thought he did a great job in just coming in and working every day. And then from there, to me, it did reflect in his games, [and] he was able to take it to another level.’’

Shesterkin, who missed some time in November with an undisclosed injury, dodged the question Saturday when asked if the time he sat out was beneficial just because it gave him a mental reset, or whether he and Allaire actually fixed some technical issues.

“I just thought I didn’t deserve to be an All-Star,’’ he said. “After All-Star [week], I just tried to show I deserved it.’’

Wheeler ‘out indefinitely’

Injured forward Blake Wheeler, who suffered a season-ending injury to his right lower leg or ankle in a game against Montreal on Feb. 15, has been skating on his own, Laviolette said, but when asked if he could return late in the postseason, he replied: “He’s out indefinitely. He’s not with us. Right now, you don’t see him out there.’’

Domingue, Edstrom added

After practice, the Rangers called up goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Adam Edstrom from their Hartford Wolf Pack farm team.

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