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Vesey's Three Points Lead Rangers to Win Over Blues

Kreider With Two Assists; Lundqvist First Shutout of the Season

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Jimmy Vesey may be a rookie, but he's become a crucial part of the Rangers' early success this season.

The 23-year-old scored a goal and added two assists in the Rangers' convincing 5-0 win over the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

Vesey has six goals and three assists in 10 games this season.

Dan Girardi, Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes each scored and Chris Kreider had a pair of assists in his return to the lineup after missing four games with neck spasms.

Henrik Lundqvist made 35 saves for his first shutout of the season.

"It's seemed like its come out of no where a little bit," said Vesey, who is the first Rangers rookie to register six goals in the team's first 10 games of a season since Darren Turcotte in 1989-90. "I wasn't getting the bounces at the beginning but now its all going our way. I think it's a product of me being put in all the right situations by AV and playing with two guys as good as Step and Nash. It's been a treat for me so far."

New York opened the scoring on Girardi's second of the season, a change up of sorts that beat Jake Allen at 9:37 of the opening period.

Video: STL@NYR: Girardi beats Allen to start the scoring

Vesey would capitalize less than two-minutes later with the Rangers on the power play when he buried a Derek Stepan feed from the circle for his sixth goal of the season. The goal put Vesey in a three-way tie with Toronto's Auston Matthews and Winnipeg's Patrik Laine for the rookie lead in goals.

The assist was the 200th of Stepan's NHL career.

Video: STL@NYR: Vesey doubles the lead with close-range PPG

The second period was all Rangers, starting with Nash's shot from behind the net that banked off Allen and into the net to make it 3-0 Blueshirts at 6:18. Zuccarello would convert on the power play off a pass from Kreider that made it 4-0 at 12:55.

Hayes would cap off the frame by finishing off a beautiful rush that began when Vesey scooped up a loose puck in the Rangers' zone. After carrying it into St. Louis' end, he fed J.T. Miller who hit Hayes with a pass for the goal that made it 5-0.

Video: STL@NYR: Hayes lights the lamp with one-timer on rush

Lundqvist was superb in picking up his first shutout of the season. His best stop came in the first period when he denied forward Robby Fabbri on a breakaway with a glove save. He improved to 5-3 on the season.

"This was his best game so far this year," Alain Vigneault said. "There's no doubt. More shots - I don't think we gave up more chances - we gave up more shots. But the difference is Hank made those two breakaway saves and when we had opportunities we were able to capitalize."

Kreider finished with five shots on goal to go along with the two helpers in 14:59 of ice time in his return to action.

Five different Rangers scored while 11 different Blueshirts picked up a point. Kreider said that's crucial to a team's success.

"You need depth," he said. "Good teams in this league, they roll four [lines]. That's huge for us going forward."

The Rangers' power play remained hot, going 2-for-6 against a Blues team that surrendered just two power play goals against in 33 opportunities this season.

Vesey now has 10 games under his belt. Not quite a veteran, but he said his confidence level is growing with each passing game.

"I'm starting to really get confident out there. Try some things I might not have tried a couple games ago," Vesey said. "I think confidence is everything in this game. Right now, it's high and I'm riding that."

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