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game recap

Jimmy Vesey scores twice, Rangers defeat Capitals

Rookie's second-period goals help New York to win

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Rookie Jimmy Vesey scored twice in the second period to help the New York Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals 4-2 at Verizon Center on Saturday.

The Rangers trailed 2-0 after the first period but scored three goals on five shots in the second.

Brandon Pirri and Rick Nash also scored for the Rangers (3-2-1), and Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves.

"I loved the way we win this game, the way we battled, the way we believed in ourselves and our system," Lundqvist said. "I thought we played a really strong game. Being down two after the first, it was tough, but I think we all thought we could do it.

"The way we've been playing, we've been creating a lot of good chances, enough chances to score a lot against good teams."

Lars Eller and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (3-1-1), and Braden Holtby made 22 saves.

Eller scored 1:33 into the first period to make it 1-0. Defenseman Brooks Orpik took a shot from the point, and Eller redirected it past Lundqvist. The goal was Eller's first of the season and first with the Capitals.

Video: NYR@WSH: Pirri beats Holtby with quick wrist shot

Ovechkin scored his third goal of the season at 14:49 to give Washington a 2-0 lead.

Pirri made it 2-1 at 2:21 of the second period. He scored his second goal of the season on the rush from the high slot.

"They dug in there, found a way to keep it out of the net, and they got a little momentum, got it tied up, and then they came at us a little bit in the second period," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "Wasn't a lot of shots, wasn't a lot of chances, but all their chances went in."

Vesey's power-play goal at 11:22 of the second tied it 2-2. Nash corralled Derek Stepan's shot attempt, and then passed to Vesey, who had a wide-open net on Holtby's glove side for the tap-in.

Vesey scored his third goal of the season at 14:22 to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. He took a pass from Mats Zuccarello, deked around Holtby's poke-check attempt, and scored with a backhand.

"The last couple games, I think I've had a lot of chances and our line's had a lot of chances, but they just haven't gone in, and it's a tough league to play in and an even tougher league to score in, so this gives me a lot of confidence going forward," Vesey said.

Nash scored an empty-net goal with 5.9 seconds remaining.

 

Goal of the game

Ovechkin picked up a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov in the neutral zone, came down the right side, made a curl-and-drag move while using defenseman Marc Staal as a screen, and beat Lundqvist top shelf with a wrist shot.

Video: NYR@WSH: Ovechkin's wrister beats Lundqvist top shelf

 

Save of the game

With 1:04 left in the second period, Lundqvist robbed a wide-open Ovechkin on the doorstep to preserve New York's 3-2 lead.

Video: NYR@WSH: Lundqvist stones Ovechkin's backdoor attempt

 

Highlight of the game

Vesey fought through Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner while he drove to the net before beating Holtby with a backhand shot for his second goal of the night.

"I think the puck ended up behind me a little bit," Vesey said. "I was going to try to go to the far side of the net, but it ended up kind of back behind me, and I just tried to put it in the net at that point and [Holtby] had sprawled out, so I was able to go five-hole."

Video: NYR@WSH: Vesey goes five-hole for second of the game

 

Unsung moment of the game

The Rangers killed off a four-minute double minor penalty after Mika Zibanejad was called for high sticking against T.J. Oshie early in the second period, limiting the Capitals to one shot on goal.

 

They said it

"I'm trying to get him to get as comfortable as he can, because the more comfortable, the more confident he seems to be with the puck. Some of the plays he made tonight were at a really high level, and his game, as he gets more comfortable and as he kind of gets used to his linemates and talking … he's going to be a big part of our group." -- Rangers center Derek Stepan on Jimmy Vesey

 

"I just thought the last two games we got away from what we did in the first period. The first periods have been good, that's something we wanted to correct. Our second period, we're going to need to correct." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

"It was a great play by [Rick Nash], and before I could even call, he pushed over to me and I had the whole net." -- Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey on his first goal of the game

Video: NYR@WSH: Vesey buries a feed from Nash for PPG

 
Need to know

Vesey is the third NHL rookie to have a multigoal game this season, joining Patrik Laine and Auston Mathews. … Ovechkin has a three-game goal streak.

 

Video: Nash seals win with empty-netter

 

What's next

Rangers: Home against the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG, FS-A, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; SN360, SN1, SNO, SNW, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Vesey scores twice in Rangers' 4-2 comeback win

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