NEW YORK — Jimmy Vesey scored twice and Jonathan Quick made 18 saves as the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Wednesday night for their third straight win.
Jonny Brodzinski also scored for the Rangers, who won for the second time in three days after the All-Star break. Quick has started both games. The Rangers are 4-1-1 in their last six games.
“You take what comes and you try to make one save after another,” Quick said ”When we play like we did, it gives us a good chance to win every night.”
At 38, Quick became the oldest goaltender in Rangers history to win three straight games. He also defeated Ottawa 7-2 in New York’s last game before the All-Star break on Jan. 27.
“He’s a legend, one of the best American goalies of all time,” Vesey said of Quick, who got his 387th career win, two behind Dominik Hasek for 15th on the all-time wins list. “He’s been a rock for us all season. He just battles and competes and has some swagger in net.”
Brandon Hagel scored for Tampa Bay, and Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 21 saves. The Lightning had won three straight and eight of their previous nine.
Vesey gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead as he roofed a backhand past Vasilevskiy at 1:15 of the middle period.
Brodzinski increased the lead with this third goal with 2:14 remaining in the second.
Hagel got Tampa Bay on the scoreboard at 5:29 of the third to make it one-goal game.
Vesey then sealed the win with a empty-net goal with 1:01 remaining for his 11th of the season. The Rangers were coming off a 2-1 overtime win over Colorado at home on Monday.
“We were fortunate to get two goals in the second,” Vesey said. ”We’ve gone over a lot of things on the defensive side. We’ve done a good job with two games we can build on.”
Tampa Bay had its first power-play chance of the night with 4:38 left in the third when Mika Zibanejad was sent off for holding. However, the Lightning were held at bay by Quick, who was making his third straight start and improved to 12-4-2 in his first season with the Rangers.
The Rangers beat the Lightning for the fifth straight time at home and New York is 15-0-0 at home this season when allowing the opposition three or fewer goals .
“That game was there for the taking,” Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said. ”It’s frustrating.”
The game was delayed at the seven-minute mark of the second when Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev had to leave the ice on a stretcher after his left leg bent at an awkward angle in a play along the boards in the Tampa Bay end. Sergachev became tangled with Rangers forward Alexis Lafreniere and his left skate seemed to stick in the ice as his knee twisted unnaturally.
He was declared out for the rest of the game before the end of the second period.
“You pray for the best but obviously it’s not looking great,” Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said.
Sergachev had returned Wednesday after missing 17 games with a leg injury suffered in December.
“He’s a really tough kid. It goes beyond hockey,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who left his bench to speak with Sergachev as he was taken from the ice. Cooper wouldn’t speculate if Sergachev’s injury could be season-ending.
“Let’s not think that way,” Cooper said.
Lightning: At the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Rangers: At Chicago on Friday night.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL