Zibanejad Hits All The Right Notes In Rangers Win
The Rangers headed to Canada’s capital city to take on the Ottawa Senators following Thursday’s season-opening win over the Winnipeg Jets. And it was the former Senators center, Mika Zibanejad, that powered the offense en route to a 4-1 Rangers victory.
Mika Zibanejad – After a four-point night on Thursday, Zibanejad produced an encore, with a hat trick and an assist to give him eight points through two games. Not only did the Swede have a hat trick, but he became the first Ranger since Derek Stepan to score an SHG, PPG and ES goal for his hat trick.
Zibanejad’s first goal came on the man advantage, cleaning up the rebound of the Jacob Trouba shot to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period.
The second goal was a thing of beauty. After Adam Fox cleared the puck up the boards to Artemiy Panarin, David Quinn’s top-line produced some magic. Panarin passed to Zibanejad, who worked a give-and-go with Buchnevich for a 2-1 lead in the second.
His final tally of the night came with Chris Kreider in the penalty box. Zibanejad came down the ice with Lias Andersson, held the puck as the Ottawa defender slid by, and beat Craig Anderson for the hat trick.
And if his on-ice performance wasn’t enough, Mika made a fan’s night before the game.
Zibanejad has started the season hotter than anyone could’ve imagined. And if he keeps this up, the Rangers will have their bona fide number one center.
Artemiy Panarin – The fourth and final goal of the game came from the Russian phenom, taking the Zibanejad pass and wiring it into the back of the net. As has been mentioned a few times, Panarin’s lightning-fast release is part of what makes him so dangerous, especially on the power play.
“Special” Teams – The Rangers penalty kill was a perfect 5/5 in this one and has scored two shorthanded goals this season. The team has changed up the PK a bit, with the units being more aggressive on the puck, and it’s worked so far.
The power play has been stellar, going 3/5 through two games this season. Having Panarin, Trouba, Zibanejad, Kreider, and Buchnevich on the ice at the same time – five guys who can score at any time – forces the opposition to leave a good scoring option unmarked and the Rangers have taken advantage of that so far.
Alexandar Georgiev – Let’s not forget the Rangers’ netminder in this one. Georgiev made 31 saves in his first victory of the season, including 12 in the third period. This save sequence in the second period with the Rangers shorthanded helped keep the game tied, and gave his team the chance to take the lead, and ultimately win the game.
Next Game: The Rangers don’t suit up again until Saturday afternoon when they host the Edmonton Oilers at MSG. Puck drops at 1!
LETS GO RANGERS!!