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game recap

Vesey lifts Rangers past Jets in return

Scores tie-breaking goal in third, missed past three games with concussion

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Jimmy Vesey scored with 3:53 remaining and Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves to help lift the New York Rangers to a 3-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Sunday.

Vesey, who returned after missing three games because of a concussion, tipped Brady Skjei's point shot past Connor Hellebuyck to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.  

Mark Scheifele tipped Dustin Byfuglien's point shot past Lundqvist with 1:22 remaining, but the goal was disallowed because of a high stick.


[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Jets highlights]


Michael Grabner scored his 23rd of the season into the empty net at 19:17 to make it 3-1.

"This was a real good team win, like last game," said Mats Zuccarello, who scored late in the first period. "Blocking shots, everyone playing really well. (Lundqvist) was real good for us. We scored some big goals. And I think our power play was good - we just missed our chance to score there. And our PK was outstanding. So it was a solid game for everyone and a really good win."

The Rangers (27-24-5) have won two straight after losing seven of their past eight games and move within two points of the Carolina Hurricanes, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"The way we responded after the first couple minutes is I think key to this win," Lundqvist said. "They were all over us the first 10 minutes. We knew that going into this game, they always come out flying."

Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets (32-15-9), who have lost two straight and four of their past seven games. Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves.

Video: NYR@WPG: Ehlers finds net on blistering one-timer

The Jets, who lost their second straight home game for the first time all season, remained in second place in the Central Division, two points back of the Nashville Predators.

"I thought the first period was really good and in the second period we got away from it because we were in the box for six minutes out of 20, (that) disrupted our rhythm a little bit," Jets forward Blake Wheeler said. "The third we had some great looks, it just didn't go in and they get one in, a good bounce in the end, makes it tough."

Tyler Myers appeared to score 24 seconds into the game for the Jets, but the Rangers challenged that the play was offside. A video review overturned the call on the ice.

Ehlers made it 1-0 at 1:06 of the first period on a one-timer from the right circle.

Zuccarello tied the game at 1-1 with 1:06 remaining in the period, taking advantage of a neutral zone turnover to score his first goal in 22 games.

Video: NYR@WPG: Zuccarello finds twine on nice wrist shot

"It was a stupid pass from me trying to make it into the middle there," Ehlers said of his turnover. " It got picked off and they scored with, what was it, one-and-a-half or two minutes left in the period? It's something that I have to take on me. 

"We let them get back into the game in the second period and they kind of took over a little bit. Stupid mistake."


Goal of the game

Vesey's goal at 16:07 of the third period.

Video: NYR@WPG: Vesey deflects Skjei's wrist shot to score


Save of the game

Lundqvist's save on Wheeler at 4:10 of the third period.

Video: NYR@WPG: Lundqvist shuts down Wheeler twice


Highlight of the game

Lundqvist's save on Myers at 14:28 of the second period.

Video: NYR@WPG: Lundqvist lunges to make a glove save


They said it

"When you win, everything looks brighter. But at the end of the day, what we're doing with our guys is keeping them in hockey mode. We're working with them individually and as a team on a certain area that we have to focus on to get better. And that's what we're going to keep doing here moving forward." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault


"Yeah, first and third were really strong. To come away even out of two [periods], you got to think you're in a pretty good spot. Our guy made some saves, though. He didn't have the volume, but he had to make some saves. Lundqvist made some pretty good saves." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice


Need to know

Lundqvist has won two straight after going 0-6-0 with a 4.37 goals-against average, a .870 save percentage in his previous seven games. … The Jets are 3-for-23 on the power play in their past seven games. ... Rangers forward Cody McLeod left the game in the second period and did not return after a fight with Jets forward Matt Hendricks.


What's next

Rangers: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N+, MSG, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)


Video: Vesey lifts Rangers past Jets in return, 3-1

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