Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) and Washington Capitals right...

Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) and Washington Capitals right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel (96) fight during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in Washington. Credit: AP/Stephanie Scarbrough

WASHINGTON — In the third period of the Rangers’ 4-0 loss to the Capitals, the Blueshirts’ frustrations began to show when usually mild-mannered forward Jimmy Vesey started a fight with Washington’s Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

Vesey, upset after being hit into the boards near the Rangers’ blue line by Aube-Kubel, left his stick lying in the defensive zone and skated all the way into the offensive zone to challenge Aube-Kubel to a fight. Vesey was given a two-minute minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in addition to a fighting major.

Vesey left the ice for the locker room to get looked at but later returned.

Pitlick at the ready

Tyler Pitlick alternated with Vesey in the lineup for the first four games of the season before coach Peter Laviolette decided to stick with Vesey for an extended run. That meant Pitlick was the odd man out for seven straight games before injuries to Filip Chytil and Barclay Goodrow provided another chance for Pitlick.

Chytil (out 15 games with an upper-body injury) and Goodrow (upper-body injury) missed Saturday’s game. Pitlick played his 15th game in a row.

“It’s tough,’’ he said of all the games he missed. “All you can do is work hard . . . I did everything I possibly could to stay ready. And then, unfortunately, someone got hurt and then I was in. And I feel like, because of the work I put in, I was ready.’’

Blue notes

Ryan Lindgren faced his brother Charlie for the first time in the NHL after playing against each other in the minors. Ryan had three shots on goal against his brother . . . Goodrow, who took a puck to the face in Tuesday’s game in Ottawa, and lost a tooth, did not make the trip. Goodrow skated Saturday in New York, so he is improving, Laviolette said . . . D Adam Fox played in his 300th NHL game.

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