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Rangers beat Bruins 7-4 in matchup of East’s top teams

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Vesey’s goal put the Rangers ahead late in the second period, Chris Kreider scored twice and Jonathan Quick made 27 saves as New York beat the Boston Bruins 7-4 on Saturday in a matchup of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Vesey’s fourth goal of the season came during a delayed penalty at 16:37 off a scramble in front of the Boston net. It gave the Rangers the lead to stay en route to their seventh win in eight games.

Kreider scored on the power play and short-handed for the fourth time in his career. He leads the Rangers with 13 goals.

“We did a good job carrying the offense with all four lines,” Kreider said. “We got two points. We can enjoy that tomorrow and get back at it the next day.”

Nick Bonino, K’Andre Miller, Tyler Pitlick and Artemi Panarin also scored for New York. Vincent Trocheck had two assists for the Rangers (15-3-1), who are 13-1-1 in their last 15 games and have 15 wins in 19 or fewer games for the first time in franchise history.

“We were ready to go at puck drop,” Miller said. “We knew it would be a battle for a full 60 minutes and we would need all 20 guys.”

Charlie Coyle scored twice for Boston (14-3-3), which was coming off a 5-2 loss to visiting Detroit on Friday. Morgan Geekie and David Pastrnak also scored for the Bruins.

“They played a back-to-back too and we looked like we did way more they did,” Coyle said.

Quick continued his sterling start as a Ranger, improving to 6-0-1. The 37-year-old signed as a free agent last summer.

“We were solid in the third,” said Quick, who recorded his 381st win. “It’s a game against a great team. It’s a game you come out and give your best effort.”

Bonino opened the scoring with his first goal as a Ranger, whipping the puck past goaltender Linus Ullmark at 5:58 of the first. Kreider made it 2-0 at 10:56 with the 99th power-play goal of his career.

Boston didn’t record its first shot until more than 13 minutes had elapsed in the first, but the Bruins then scored two quick goals to tie it.

Coyle scored at 13:50 when he picked up his own rebound, and Geekie rifled a shot past Quick at 14:14.

Kreider put the Rangers ahead 3-2 with a short-handed score at 18:41 of the first, bursting in alone on Ullmark. With 278 career goals, Kreider is two behind Adam Graves for third in Rangers history.

Pastrnak scored 26 seconds into the middle period on the power play to tie the game at 3-all. Pastrnak leads Boston with 13 goals and 31 points.

After Vesey’s go-ahead goal, Miller added his second of the season at 19:36 of the second.

In the third, Pitlick increased the lead to 6-3 at 1:26 with his first goal as a Ranger before Boston’s Coyle scored his second of the game and ninth of the season at 2:29. Panarin made it 7-4 with his 11th goal at 4:36.

New York improved to 8-1-0 against Eastern Conference opponents this season.

Ullmark allowed seven goals on 40 shots.

“Our habits and details eroded on us,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “We’ve been a little spoiled by what we’ve been accomplishing so far. ... Detroit jumped us yesterday and the Rangers were better than us today.”

Kreider, who has nine career short-handed goals — all in the last three seasons — said the Rangers made the most of their scoring opportunities.

“There are no easy games,” the 32-year-old forward said. “Both coaches had to be perturbed. We just had a lot of offensive chances in this game.”

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