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game recap

Rangers defeat Blue Jackets for sixth straight win

New York's streak continues after Jimmy Vesey's late goal

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Jimmy Vesey scored with 6:32 remaining and Antti Raanta made 30 saves to help the New York Rangers to a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Monday.

Dan Girardi and Kevin Hayes also scored for New York (37-18-1), which has won six in a row.

The Rangers, Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins each have 75 points, nine behind the Washington Capitals, the Metropolitan Division leader.

 

WATCH: All Rangers vs. Blue Jackets highlights

 

"When you can win a game when you're not at your best as far as execution-wise, it's not a bad sign," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foligno scored for Columbus (35-15-5). Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves.

Vesey made it 3-2 with his second goal in the past 17 games, both against Columbus.

Raanta, who made his first start since Jan. 14 and played his first game since Jan. 31, made several saves in the final minute when the Blue Jackets had an extra attacker, including a save against Cam Atkinson that saw the rebound scoot wide of the right post with 25 seconds left.

"It's been a long time since I played the last time," Raanta said. "I just wanted to get that good feeling going again."

Hayes scored unassisted at 4:49 of the third on a breakaway off a turnover to put the Rangers ahead 2-1 for his 15th goal and second in as many games.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Raanta protects the net with late saves

"I'm not upset with a bunch of minutes we played," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I just don't like the free stuff we gave."

Foligno scored the tying goal at 11:53 when his centering pass to Alexander Wennberg went off the skate of Rangers forward J.T. Miller and past Raanta. Foligno was credited with his 19th goal of the season.

The Rangers opened the second period trailing 1-0 and having 1:31 of a penalty against Kevin Klein to kill, but Girardi scored 12 seconds after the faceoff to tie the game with his fourth goal (first shorthanded) of the season after Dubinsky made it 1-0 at 8:12 of the first period.

 

Goal of the game

Hayes perfectly read a back pass from Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson to defenseman David Savard and stole the puck off Savard's stick at center ice. He deked Bobrovsky to score through the five-hole.

"I kind of cheated and guessed he would go D-to-D, and luckily he did," Hayes said.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Hayes steals puck, scores on breakaway

 

Save of the game

Bobrovsky kicked out his left pad to knock away a skittering puck at 10:20 of the first period. Vesey's shot was deflected in front and ricocheted off Hayes toward the goal, where Bobrovsky made the stop and the denied rebound shot from the slot by Brady Skjei.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Bobrovsky kicks away close-range shot

 

Unsung performance of the game

Girardi returned after missing two games because of a foot injury and had 16:22 of ice time.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Girardi nets SHG with beautiful wrist shot

 

Highlight of the game

Vesey showed speed, good hands and a pinpoint shot on his goal. He moved down the right wing and put himself in position to put the puck underneath the crossbar at the near post.

Video: NYR@CBJ: Vesey scores from the bottom of the circle

 

They said it

"You want to keep it going. You don't want to be the guy ruining the winning streak." -- Rangers goaltender Antti Raanta

 

"I thought we outplayed them the entire game and we just let them hang around, hang around. That's a good team. They feel like they still have a chance to be in it and they made us pay tonight." -- Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno

 

Need to know

Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell sustained a lower-body injury and did not play the final two periods. He slid into the end boards after taking a shot at 5:38 of the first period. He went to the locker room but returned to finish the period. Tortorella did not have an update after the game. … Jesper Fast played his 200thh NHL game, all with the Rangers. … Columbus, which possesses the No. 2 power play in the NHL, was 0-for-4 in addition to allowing its first shorthanded goal this season. The Rangers were 0-for-5 on the power play.

 

What's next

Rangers: At the New York Islanders on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG+ 2, MSG, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Hayes, Raanta come up big in 3-2 win over Jackets

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