Jonathan Quick leads Rangers to 3-1 win against Lightning
Peter Laviolette insists there’s no goalie controversy with the New York Rangers.
But if Jonathan Quick keeps doing what he’s doing, there just may be.
Quick made 19 saves in a 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, New York’s third in a row, each with the veteran in goal instead of All-Star Igor Shesterkin. It’s the first time the Rangers have won three straight since Dec. 15-19.
Quick wasn’t asked to stand on his head. He faced just 10 shots through 40 minutes, but made the saves he should like he’s done throughout his first season in New York.
“It was a low event game,” Laviolette explained. “For that, I think our guys did a good job defensively.”
The Rangers’ bottom six provided the offense on a night when New York’s top dogs — including the power play — were kept off the score sheet. Jimmy Vesey scored twice and Jonny Brodzinski netted the other.
Jonathan Quick, Jimmy Vesey lead Rangers to third consecutive win
Vesey’s first of the night opened the scoring 1:15 into the middle frame when he beat Andrei Vasilevskiy with a backhand on a 2-on-1 to become the sixth Rangers skater to reach 10 goals this season.
Brodzinski scored his second goal in three games to double the lead when his wrist shot from the slot found twine at 17:46 of the second.
Vesey potted an empty-net goal after Brandon Hagel made it a one-goal game 5:29 into the third. It was the second multi-goal game this season for the 30-year-old forward after he also scored twice against the New Jersey Devils on Nov. 18.
Artemi Panarin has been the Rangers’ MVP through the first half of the season, but Quick isn’t far behind. He improved to 12-4-2 on the season, and he’s been a safety net of sorts that’s allowed Laviolette and his staff to give Shesterkin time to work on his game in an attempt to get him back on track.
“Shesty’s our guy,” Laviolette said after the morning skate.
Then he explained, “This was a chance for us to work with [Shesterkin]. He’s with [goalie coach Benoit Allaire], he gets more video, more reps so he can focus on his game and get really dialed in for the stretch run.”
Quick has allowed four goals during the win streak, which included an outstanding performance by the 38-year-old in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.
“At the end of the day, when we play like we did today, it gives us a good chance to win,” Quick said.
Laviolette hasn’t committed to a goalie for the Blueshirts next game, Friday at the Chicago Blackhawks, when they try to extend their winning streak to four games.
The Rangers are 7-0-1 in their past eight games against the Lightning.
New York is 2-0-0 against Tampa Bay this season and the season series will conclude with a game in Tampa on March 14.
Jonathan Quick became the oldest goalie in Rangers history (38) to have three-game win streak.
The Rangers are 15-0-0 at home when allowing three or fewer goals in a game.
Will Cuylle had a team-high four hits and Barclay Goodrow led New York with four blocked shots.