Jonathan Quick stands strong in net as Rangers top Lightning

Jonathan Quick made 18 saves, Jimmy Vesey scored twice and the New York Rangers earned a 3-1 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Vesey scored his first goal early in the second period and added an empty-net tally shortly after Tampa Bay forward Anthony Cirelli’s wrist shot missed wide right with 1:21 remaining in regulation.

Jonny Brodzinski scored late in the second as the Rangers won a third straight game for the first time since Dec. 15-19 and improved to 7-1-0 in their past eight home games against Tampa Bay.

Brandon Hagel scored for the Lightning, who had 22 shots blocked, saw a three-game winning streak end and lost for the second time in 10 games (8-2-0). Tampa Bay also lost Mikhail Sergachev to a scary lower-body injury in the second period when the defenseman collided with New York’s Alexis Lafreniere.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves for the Lightning.

Quick made his third straight start and faced little action at times but was sharp throughout. He stopped Steven Stamkos on a partial breakaway in the opening minute of the second before the Rangers went ahead.

The Rangers opened the scoring 75 seconds into the second thanks to a strong move by Vesey.

Vesey motored down the left wing, cut to the net and roofed a backhander over Vasilevskiy for his 10th goal of the season as Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak fell down.

The Rangers nearly went ahead 2-0 with about seven minutes left in the period, but Vasilevskiy moved across the crease for a pad save on Lafreniere.

New York got the second goal by winning a battle along the boards in the offensive zone. Chris Kreider gained the puck along the left boards from Tampa Bay defenseman Emil Martinsen Lilleberg and swiftly moved it to Brodzinski.

Brodzinski gained possession and finished the play by whipping a one-timer under Vasilevskiy for his third goal of the season.