Mika Magic returns as he ties NHL record for most points in one period as Rangers rout Flyers 9-0

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Mar 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) and right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) celebrate after a 9-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Mika Zibanejad tied an NHL record for most points in one period set by Islanders’ Bryan Trottier in 1978. In a second period the Flyers would love to forget, Zibanejad scored a natural hat trick while adding three assists for six points.

Mika Zibanejad and Rangers torch the Flyers

This was a Garden party for the limited fans in attendance as the Rangers walloped the Flyers by a 9-0 final. Mika Zibanejad who was this season’s poster boy for slumping and being unlucky exploded to double his goal total to six on the season. It was long overdue for the center and his team.

“Everyone is going to go back to last season and the expectation is obviously higher, but if the puck doesn’t want to go in it doesn’t want to go in,” Zibanejad said. “I’ve been trying to get myself through this and it hasn’t been easy, but it is what it is. It’s one game, but I feel like the game just overall has been feeling a little bit better for the past little bit here. Production is a big part of it when you get the ice time I’ve been getting and the role that I have, but as long as we keep winning then I’m happy.”

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mika Zibanejad
Mar 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) celebrates with center Mika Zibanejad (93) after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers at 1:38 of the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers coaching staff on COVID protocol

Prior to the game the entire was shocked to learn that David Quinn their head coach tested positive and was placed on the COVID protocol list. That wasn’t all as the entire coaching staff was added to it and unavailable to coach the game. That forced their AHL affiliate’s head coach Kris Knoblauch into action as a fill in.

“It happens very quickly,” Knoblauch said. “Getting the call at 11:30 that you might be. I rush home and pack. Initially it was going to be one game, but then they’re like, ‘Well, you might be going on the road trip,’ so then you pack extra. Really, you didn’t have much time to think about it. Everything was laid out for us by the coaching staff and when the game started there are some nerves, definitely some excitement, but then you’ve got to get into game mode, coach mode. It’s certainly a night that I’ll never forget.”

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A dozen Blueshirts hit the score sheet as Georgiev solid

When it was all over, 12 different Rangers appeared on the scoresheet. The fun started early when Adam Fox fresh off his stint on the COVID list set up Brendan Lemieux for the opening tally. Pavel Buchnevich who was also came off the list had himself a night with four points (2G, 2A). Jeff Gorton will be hard pressed to move Buchnevich in any trade as he now has 26 points in 27 games on the year.

Artemi Panarin added two more points and now has six in three games since returning from his leave of absence. The Breadman has 24 points this season in just 17 games. He undoubtedly makes the Rangers a whole different team when in the lineup.

Finally, Alexandar Georgiev stopped all 26 shots he faced for the shutout. The Rangers now move three points behind the Flyers and six behind the Bruins for fourth place. They will face the Capitals for two games starting Friday and need at least a split to stay in the race.