Rangers Ride Killer Zs To Victory
Following a shutout loss at the hands of Anthony Stolarz and the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, the Rangers headed across the Hudson River to face the upstart New Jersey Devils. And thanks to superb performances from Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello, along with some timely saves from King Henrik, the Rangers won for the fourth time in their last five contests.
Mika Zibanejad – It was one of the best performances in the Rangers career of the Swedish forward. Zibanejad registered four points, including a hat-trick and an assist, to help lead the charge for the Rangers.
Mika’s first goal came with less than two seconds remaining in the first period. With the Devils shorthanded, Mika won the faceoff and got into position as he redirected the point shot from Kevin Hayes between the legs of Keith Kinkaid.
For his second tally of the night, Zibanejad took the gorgeous cross-ice pass from Mats Zuccarello and snapped it over Kinkaid on the short side.
Zibanejad capped off the hat trick as he finished off a fantastic shift for the Rangers, going to the backhand to beat the outstretched Kinkaid.
Zibanejad has been on a tear as of late, recording 12 points in his last six games. As the Rangers inch closer to the trade deadline, Zibanejad is proving that he is going to be a centerpiece for the Rangers as they continue the rebuild of the organization.
Mats Zuccarello – Like his Swedish counterpart, the Norwegian forward has been producing as of late. Zuccarello recorded three assists in this one and was a “puck magnet” as he seemed to constantly have the puck on his stick. Zuccarello had three shots on net, and four others that were either blocked or missed the net, and had two takeaways as well. Zuccarello has been playing very well, as we’ve seen Zuccarello put up 13 points in his last eight games.
Chris Kreider – Let’s not forget the final member of this line, the speedy Chris Kreider, who scored the third Rangers goal of the game. Kreider was the beneficiary of some great work by his linemates as he squeaked the shot through Kinkaid, which gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead at the time. The goal was Kreider’s team-leading 23rd, as he is on pace for his best offensive season in the NHL.
Jimmy Vesey – The Harvard alumnus didn’t make a smart play when he turned the puck over in his own end, a play on which the Devils capitalized to tie the game at three. After he came to the bench, Vesey found himself glued to the pine as Pavel Buchnevich took his spot on the line with Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast.
Henrik Lundqvist – Though he gave up three goals in this one, King Henrik was clutch for the Rangers when they needed him. Lundqvist made 19 saves, including this beauty with the glove to help the Rangers over the finish line. The win was the 447th of his illustrious career, as Lundqvist inches closer to Curtis Joseph in fifth place.
Next Game: The Rangers return to MSG to host Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, JT Miller, Ryan McDonagh, and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Puck drops at 8!
LETS GO RANGERS!!