Vesey’s goal in third lifts Rangers past Blue Jackets, 3-2

New York Rangers' Kevin Hayes, right, celebrates his goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets with teammates Brady Skjei, left, and Kevin Klein during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. The Rangers beat the Blue Jackets 3-2. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Jimmy Vesey scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and Antti Raanta stopped 29 shots as the New York Rangers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Monday night.

Dan Girardi and Kevin Hayes also scored for the Rangers, who won their sixth straight game and moved into a three-way tie for second place with Columbus and Pittsburgh in the tough Metropolitan Division.

Raanta made two big saves in the final 23 seconds after the Blue Jackets pulled the goalie for a sixth skater and were swarming.

Brandon Dubinsky and Nick Foloigno scored for Columbus, and Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 20 saves.

Hayes put the Rangers up 2-1 after stripping the puck from David Savard and on a breakaway 4:49 into the third period.

Foligno knotted the score again with 8:07 left in regulation.

Vesey then got the game-winner less than two minutes later with a wrister from the bottom of the right circle.

Columbus got on the board 8:12 into the game, just as New York’s Pavel Buchnevich was leaving the penalty box. Brandon Saad caught up with a rebound off the back board and shoveled it out to Dubinsky, who beat Raanta from 14 feet out.

The Rangers tied it with a short-handed goal from Dan Girardi 12 seconds into the second period. Girardi fired a wrist shot past Bobrovsky from the top of the right circle.

NOTES: Raanta started in place of Henrik Lundqvist, who had gotten his 400th NHL win on Saturday. It was Raanta’s third appearance and first start since Dec. 29. … New York’s last loss was Jan. 31 against the Blue Jackets. … The Columbus Dispatch reported that players requested a meeting to ask Tortorella to be more constructive in his criticism. Tortorella and Foligno said the report was “blown out of proportion.” … Columbus on Monday recalled G Joonas Korpisalo from Cleveland of the American Hockey League and moved G Anton Forsberg back down. … Columbus F Scott Hartnell left the game in the first period and didn’t return after he slammed into the back board hard after racing New York’s Nick Holden hard to a loose puck. The team said he’s got a “lower body” injury.

UP NEXT:

New York: At the New York Islanders on Thursday, the second of three straight games against Metropolitan Division opponents.

Columbus: Hosts Toronto at home on Wednesday.

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