Vesey scores twice as Rangers down Maple Leafs 3-1

Vesey scores twice as Rangers down Maple Leafs 3-1

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Vesey scored two goals, Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves and the New York Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Thursday night for their fifth straight win.

Vesey grabbed a tie at 4:27 in the second period. He added an empty net, leaving 1:13 for his fifth result of the season.

Filip Chytil also scored for New York and Vincent Trocheck had two assists.

Toronto lost in regulation for the first time since Nov. 11. The last 15 games have gone 12-0-3. The Maple Leafs also had a point in nine straight games, including seven wins.

Vesey, who had won a job with Rangers from training camp, ran down the right wing before firing a high wrist shot past Toronto goaltender Matt Murray in the second.

Vesey played for Harvard Rangers for three seasons before running for four other teams including New Jersey last season.

Michael Bunting had Toronto’s only goal. Murray made 18 stops.

Shesterkin improved to 5-0-1 in his last six starts and 15-4-4 overall this season. He defeated Mitchell Marner at 14:29 of the third, eventually halting Marner’s 23-game scoring streak.

Chytil opened the scoring for New York and scored his seventh goal on a 3:52 power play into the game. He fired a high shot past Murray.

Bunting responded with his seventh at 2:06 p.m., knocking a rebound past Shesterkin. Bunting extended his points streak to 10 games.

The brisk pace continued into the second game as both goalies made excellent saves.

Murray blocked an Artemi Panarin shot from high position seven minutes later.

Toronto had a number of chances during a man advantage late in the second round but failed to untie Shesterkin.

The Rangers goaltender stopped Zach Aston-Reese five minutes into the third minute, sparking chants of “Igor! Igor!” from the Garden crowd and then smothered a close shot by Toronto captain John Tavares at 12:16 of the third.

Toronto had three home wins — a 7-0 win over Anaheim on Tuesday after victories over Calgary and Los Angeles.

After a six-game win, the Rangers began their winning streak against St. Louis on Dec. 5, then defeated Vegas and Colorado on the road before getting past the New Jersey Devils in overtime on Monday.


Defenseman Ben Harpur played his first game for Rangers since being recalled from the minors on December 3. … Forward Vitali Kravtsov returned after suffering a healthy scratch in the last three games as Rangers scratched forward Sammy Blais – who is yet to score in 27 games – and defender Libor Hajek. … Toronto scratched forward Wayne Simmonds and defender Jordie Benn.


Rangers: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Maple Leafs: Visit the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Allan Kreda, The Associated Press

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