Vesey scores two as Rangers stop Sabres

Jimmy Vesey scored twice Sunday night for the New York Rangers, who netted two goals in the first minute of the second period in their 3-1 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres.

Neal Pionk and Vesey scored 19 seconds apart in the second period for the Rangers, who have won three straight.

Vesey’s empty-netter with 1:51 left in the game gave him his second multi-goal game of the season and the sixth of his career.

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist recorded 39 saves.

Conor Sheary scored for the Sabres, who have lost four of five. The lone win in that stretch was recorded Saturday, when Buffalo scored its most goals in almost a decade in a 9-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Goalie Carter Hutton made 19 saves.

Pionk began and ended the sequence that put the Rangers ahead 41 seconds into the second period.

Pionk’s shot bounced off the boards to the left of Hutton, where Vladislav Namestnikov retrieved the puck and skated beyond the faceoff circles, where he fired a shot across the ice to Pionk.

The defenseman, stationed just inside the right faceoff circle, wound up and fired a shot over Hutton’s shoulder.

The Rangers needed just 19 seconds to double their lead.

New York right winger Jesper Fast and Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin were fighting for the puck along the boards deep in the Buffalo zone when Fast’s teammate, Brett Howden, wedged his way between the two and escaped with the puck.

Howden backhanded a pass to Vesey, whose shot sailed under the leg of Buffalo defenseman Casey Nelson and over the glove of Hutton.

Sheary ended the shutout with 13:53 left in the game.

A backhanded clearing pass from behind the Rangers net by New York’s Brendan Smith was intercepted by Sheary, whose first shot was turned back by Lundqvist.

But Lundqvist had to sprawl to make the save and was caught leaning to his left as Sheary tucked the rebound into the right corner of the net.

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