Rangers rookie left wing Jimmy Vesey, who has a goal and an assist in his last 15 games and played only 10 minutes in two of the previous four games, was a healthy scratch against the Penguins.

The Harvard graduate had missed only one game, on Dec. 8 with an upper-body injury, and played the next night in Chicago. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has been giving more minutes to those who were playing well, and without being prompted, Vigneault said Vesey struggled in the 5-4 overtime loss in San Jose on Tuesday night. He added that he will dress in the playoffs.

Rookie Pavel Buchnevich, a healthy scratch for two of the previous four games, was back in the lineup. He skated on a line with Mika Zibanejad and Rick Nash.

McDonagh doesn’t play vs. Penguins

It seemed clear for weeks that captain Ryan McDonagh was playing through an injury, and that became reality when he did not practice on Thursday or play Friday after the Rangers clinched a playoff berth. McDonagh had played in all 76 games and led all Rangers skaters in average time on ice at 24:24. Vigneault said McDonagh is “day-to-day” and the issue is “nothing serious.”

Marc Staal moved up to the first defense pair with Kevin Klein on the right side.

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Vecchione signs with Flyers

Hobey Baker finalist Mike Vecchione, a free-agent center from Union College who was being pursued by the Rangers and several other teams, decided to sign an entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Vecchione, 24, told reporters that he had received good offers from the Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning but “kept finding ‘pros’ ’’ on the list he had drawn up for Philadelphia. The team said it is possible that Vecchione, who is from Saugus, Massachusetts, will play against the Rangers at the Garden on Sunday.