Vesey’s shootout goal lifts Rangers over Blue Jackets
Vesey, who also had the game-tying goal at the end of the second period, beat Joonas Korpisalo on the glove side in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Rangers a 5-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night for New York’s fifth in the last six games (5-0-1).
Vesey scored in the tiebreaker right after Columbus’ Oliver Bjorkstrand was stopped by Alexandar Georgiev, the backup who had started in place of Henrik Lundqvist in the second game of a back-to-back. The Rangers improved to 4-0 in shootouts this season.
“I’m pretty confident when we go into shootouts because our guys are so skilled,” said Georgiev, who had 34 saves and picked up his third win in four starts this season.
The game remained tied 4-4 through the third period despite an 11-2 shot advantage by Columbus, and a scoreless 5-minute overtime period. The Blue Jackets finished with a 38-19 shot advantage.
Artemi Panarin and Anthony Duclair tallied in the tiebreaker for Columbus. Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and assist for Columbus, and Cam Atkinson, Alexander Wennberg and Nick Foligno also scored in regulation. Seth Jones had three assists. Korpisalo finished with 15 saves.
Zibanejad scored the opening goal on a touch pass from Buchnevich on a 2-on-1 rush 5:54 into the game. Columbus tied it late in the first when Dubois threaded a pass into Atkinson, who tipped it in for a power-play goal.
Another odd-man rush allowed Buchnevich to beat Korpisalo and give the Rangers the lead in the second period. Kreider tapped in his team-leading eighth goal of the season off a nice pass from Kevin Hayes later in the second to make it 3-1.
Columbus tied the game again in the second with two goals in a 32-second span. Dubois got credit for redirecting a Jones one-timer , and Foligno tipped in the second from the door step on a rush.
Wennberg got his first of the season, a short-handed tally off the post to put the Blue Jackets ahead. But the Columbus lead didn’t last long. Vesey capped the scoring in the busy second period to knot the game again at the second intermission.
“You can’t overstate how important that (last) goal was,” New York coach David Quinn said. “It really reset the game for us and gave us a little bit of a good feeling going into the locker room between the second and third.”
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Blue Jackets, who are 2-0-2 in last four.
“Certainly, the odd-man rushes early on in the game hurt us, and the turnovers, but we played a good game,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “I don’t think they were in our end zone in the third period until the last shift.”
“Give them credit,” he said. “They played real hard in the third and made a big push. They had some great chances. (Georgiev) stood tall, and we got two valuable road points.”
NOTES: Columbus has four power-play goals in the last three games. … Atkinson returned after missing Friday night’s game to illness. His seventh goal tied him for the team lead. … New York F Mats Zuccarello (groin strain) missed his second game. … Wennberg played in his 300th NHL game. … Zibanejad has two goals and three assists in the past three games.
New York: Hosts Vancouver on Monday night.
Columbus: At Dallas on Monday night.