WASHINGTON — If anyone had doubts about Jimmy Vesey’s ability to get into the NHL flow, those can be dismissed.
With his two goals Saturday night, Vesey is the third rookie to post a multigoal game this season, along with top draft picks Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, and the first Rangers rookie with a multigoal game on the road since Carl Hagelin on Dec. 10, 2011.
On his second goal, which put the Rangers ahead to stay at 14:22 of the second period, Vesey skated down the left side, bulling past defenseman Kael Alzner and cut toward Braden Holtby for a backhander without any hesitation. “I think I’ve been getting more and more comfortable,” said Vesey, who had three shots on goal, another three attempts blocked in 19:17. “I thought it was a really fast-paced hockey game in general, Washington has a lot of speed, as well, that second period was pretty wide open . . . Even the two games we lost, we poured it on the other team.”
The Rangers have 19 goals in five games . . . Lundqvist stopped all 18 shots in the last two periods . . . Ryan McDonagh led all skaters with 25:36 on ice, and the other top defensemen all played more than 20 minutes as Brady Skjei and Adam Clendening logged less than 12 each . . . McDonagh’s assist on Rick Nash’s empty netter was his fourth of the season. Nash reached 700 career points with the goal . . . Nine different Rangers had points.
Raanta, Girardi available
Antti Raanta, who has played just one game so far, the 7-4 victory over the Sharks, could play Sunday against Arizona . . . Dan Girardi, recovering from a groin strain, will probably be available to play today, Vig neault said . . . Rangers players will wear lavender jerseys and use lavender tape on their sticks during warm-ups, which will be auctioned to raise money for “Hockey Fights Cancer.”