The Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — The New York Rangers are suddenly rolling thanks to timely scoring and tight defense, especially the brand exhibited against Boston on Wednesday night.
Jimmy Vesey scored two first-period goals 29 seconds apart, Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves and New York beat the Bruins 4-2 for its fifth straight victory.
Pavel Buchnevich and Rick Nash also scored for the resurgent Rangers, who improved to 8-7-2 despite losing seven of their first eight games.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” Lundqvist said after his seventh win this season and the 412th of his career. “We’re back in the race.”
David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron had the goals for Boston.
The Rangers came out strong against their old rivals, outshooting the Bruins 16-7 in the opening period and scoring three times. Boston had the better of play in a scoreless second, with a 13-8 shots advantage.
New York led 3-1 heading into the third period before Bergeron cut the margin to one at 6:44 with his third goal of the season. Lundqvist was able to hold off the Bruins before Nash scored into an empty net with 7.7 seconds left.
“When you get a lead, you have to know how to play. I thought we were pretty smart with the puck,” Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. “We are confident. We have to keep on working and keep grabbing points when we are on a roll like this.”
Buchnevich opened the scoring at 9:53 of the first with his seventh of the season, but Pastrnak quickly tied it at 10:14. Pastrnak’s team-leading ninth goal was assisted by Bergeron and rookie Anders Bjork.
Vesey, who played four years at Harvard, then jammed a loose puck past Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask at 14:41, with assists from Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad, to put the Rangers ahead 2-1.
Vesey increased the lead at 15:10 when he slid another close-in shot past Rask for his fourth of the season. It was the fastest two goals by a Rangers player since Jaromir Jagr scored twice in 26 seconds on Nov. 14, 2006.
“I consider myself a goal scorer. I’ve done that my whole life,” Vesey said. “I got a couple of greasy ones tonight. Maybe it will take off from here.”
The 24-year-old Vesey had six game-winning goals among the 16 he scored as a rookie last season.