Rangers players celebrate a goal by left wing Jimmy Vesey...

Rangers players celebrate a goal by left wing Jimmy Vesey in the second period of an NHL game against the Lightning at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Rangers were hoping their week away would act as a reset after a long period of .500 hockey.

After the first two games following the break, it’s looking like it may be.

With 38-year-old Jonathan Quick starting his third straight game and turning in another solid effort, the Rangers got two goals from fourth-line winger Jimmy Vesey and one from third-line center Jonny Brodzinski and rode those to a 3-1 win Wednesday over the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers earned their second straight victory out of the break, and their third straight win overall.

“I think we talked, going into break . . . about turning the page,’’ said Rangers captain Jacob Trouba, who returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension. “It’s a new month. We wanted to kind of pick up our game going through February, and kind of close the January chapter.

“So I thought the third period was a big step for us to do that,’’ he said. “We let up one by Tampa Bay’s Brandon Hagel], and never really — bend but don’t break, I guess, is the saying — but yeah, it’s big for our group to come out with two wins out of break against two really good teams.’’

The Rangers (32-16-3) were leading 2-0 entering the third period, thanks to second-period goals by Vesey at 1:15, and Brodzinski at 17:46. But Hagel scored at 5:29 of the third to turn a comfortable lead into a nail-biter. The lead became more tenuous when Mika Zibanejad was sent off for holding with 4:38 remaining, but the Rangers killed the penalty.

“That was huge,’’ coach Peter Laviolette said. “They get the one there . . . and [the lead) shrinks. And that’s how close it was. And then you realize that they’re going on the power play and] you realize they have . . . a really good power-play unit, and one or two really, really effective players on the power play.’’

Zibanejad also happens to be the Rangers’ best penalty-killing forward, so the man-down unit had to come up big with him in the box instead of on the ice.

The Lightning (27-19-5) then pulled goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy with 1:33 remaining for an extra attacker, but Vesey put it away with his second goal, this one into the empty net with 1:01 left.

For Quick, who made 18 saves and improved to 12-4-2, the win was the 387th of his NHL career, pulling him to within four of Ryan Miller (391), who has the most by an American-born goaltender.

The decision by Laviolette to start Quick, who carried a 2.35 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage into the game, instead of a rested Igor Shesterkin, was something of an eyebrow-raiser. Quick had started the last game before the All-Star break (a 7-2 win over Ottawa Jan. 27) and the first game out of the break (a 2-1 overtime win Monday against the Colorado Avalanche).

“It was a tentative plan to have it that way,’’ Laviolette said before the game, of Quick starting the first two games after the break. “I do think Quick’s] earned it. His last three games, his numbers are through the roof. He’s got a .944] save percentage and a 1.65] goals-against.’’

The decision was made despite the fact that Shesterkin has a 6-0-1 record with one shutout in seven career starts against Tampa Bay with a 1.40 GAA and .956 save percentage. That includes a 34-save, 5-1 win in Tampa on Dec. 30.

Laviolette insisted that Shesterkin (19-12-1, 2.86 GAA, .899 save percentage) is still the Rangers’ No. 1 goalie and Quick wasn’t looking to start any kind of goalie controversy after the game.

“He’s the best in the world,’’ Quick said of Shesterkin. “Honestly, I’ve learned so much from just watching him in practice . . . His work ethic, and everything that he brings to the table every day, practice days, game days, it’s impressive.’’

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