Igor Shesterkin of the Rangers surrenders a goal during the first period...

Igor Shesterkin of the Rangers surrenders a goal during the first period to Tomas Tatar of the Devils (not pictured) at Madison Square Garden on Monday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

After the Rangers blew a multi-goal lead for the second straight game and lost to the red-hot Devils, 5-3, on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, Igor Shesterkin took complete responsibility.

“The goalie played a [expletive] game again,’’ Shesterkin, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner as the best goaltender in the NHL, said in a mostly-cleared-out Rangers locker room. “I feel so bad. I’m playing so bad. I’m ashamed.’’

The Rangers (10-9-4) had led by three goals entering the third period in Saturday’s stunning 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

They led 2-0 by the 3:01 mark of the first period Monday, but the Devils (19-4) tied it at 2-2 before the first period was over and led 4-2 after two periods.

A power-play goal by Vincent Trocheck at 13:18 of the third period pulled the Rangers within 4-3, but Yegor Sharangovich’s second goal, into an empty net with 15.8 seconds left, sealed it.

Shesterkin, who made 33 saves, was asked if there was one goal he allowed that bothered him more than the others.

“Every goal is an easy play for me,’’ he said. “I have to stop that. If our team wants to win the game, I have to play better.’’

Shesterkin’s words were relayed to coach Gerard Gallant, who was asked if he sees his goaltender as the problem.

“The team’s a problem,’’ Gallant said. “The whole group of us. Coaches, the whole group. We’ve got to turn it around.

“Tonight was a good night to try and turn it around with the team that we’re playing. [The Devils] are a young team, but they play hard, they play fast. They’re . . . I wouldn’t say they’re a surprise team of the year, but they look really good and they played hard.

“And you know, Lindy [Ruff]’s done a good job with that team. They got a lot of confidence and they play the right way.’’

The Rangers, still smarting after the loss to Edmonton, took an early 2-0 lead on goals by Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad.

Panarin’s goal, his sixth of the season, broke a 12-game goal drought that had equaled the longest in his career.

Playing with new linemates in Kid Liners Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko, Panarin took a two-on-one pass from Chytil and beat Devils goalie Vitek Vanecek 1:20 into the game.

Zibanejad’s goal, his 11th of the season, came as he crashed the crease and jammed in a rebound after Vanecek (35 saves) fumbled Jacob Trouba’s shot. That made it 2-0 at 3:01.

But Tomas Tatar, a lefthanded shot skating up the right wing on a three-on-two break after a Rangers turnover in the neutral zone, lifted a backhand shot over Shesterkin’s catching glove to get the Devils on the board at 7:33.

The Devils tied it on Sharangovich’s first goal, at 13:25, after Trouba failed to get the puck out at the left point.

Intermission did not break the momentum the Devils suddenly had created. Jack Hughes’ goal at 5:44 of the second period — after Chytil was foiled by Vanecek on a shot from the slot — was the 12th of the season for the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 and gave the Devils their first lead of the game.

Michael McLeod made it 4-2 at 9:40. He drove the net as Miles Wood fired a shot off the crossbar, and Zac Jones’ attempted clear bounced off McLeod and into the net for his third goal of the season.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that there’s some frustration,’’ Trouba said. “That’s normal with where we’re at. We talk about it, [we have to] stay together as a group. That’s what we discussed . . . Things aren’t easy right now, and we’re going to keep fighting through them and battle until this thing turns for us.’’

More Rangers


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months