For much of this season, Mika Zibanejad has been an enigma. A high-end forward who just couldn’t seem to get going. He had three goals and nine points in 25 contests with a mere 4.2 shooting percentage. That’s a far cry from 2019-20 when he scored 41 goals and 75 points in 57 contests.
Lately though, he’s been playing some of the best hockey of his career. He scored three goals and six points against the Philadelphia Flyers last night – no that’s not a rerun. Yes, he also had three goals and six points against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 17. He’s managed to do that twice in just five contests. Over his last seven games, he has posted seven goals and 17 points. Suddenly, his 2020-21 numbers don’t look as bad.
There are just five players in NHL history who have managed to record at least three goals and three assists in multiple games in a single season. In addition to Zibanejad, the only other players in that club are Peter Stastny, Anton Stastny, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky, per TSN’s StatsCentre. That’s pretty flattering company to be a part of.
It’s also worth noting that Adam Fox had five assists, making him the sixth-youngest defenseman to ever get at least five helpers in a single game. The ones who did it younger were Glen Wesley, Alexandre Picard, Bobby Orr, Gary Suter and Dion Phaneuf.
And of course, it was another important two points for the Rangers, who have now gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games to improve to 15-13-4 this season.
NY ISLANDERS 4 BOSTON 3 (OT)
On top of losing the game, the Bruins lost Tuukka Rask to an injury. He stopped six shots in the first period, but Jaroslav Halak had to step in after that and he kicked out 17 of 21 shots the rest of the way. It’s not yet known how long Rask will be out for.
Anders Bjork scored a goal and registered an assist for Boston. He’s up to two goals and five points in 25 games.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau found the back of the net and registered two assists. The Islanders forward has 11 goals and 23 points in 33 contests.
Anthony Beauvillier scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He’s up to five goals and 10
points in 25 games.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 29 of 32 shots last night. He has a 14-6-3 record, 2.20 GAA, and .923 save percentage in 23 games.
NY RANGERS 8 PHILADELPHIA 3
Mika Zibanejad had a hat trick and registered three assists. What’s even more impressive than that is the fact that he’s had two three-goal and three-assist games in the span of just five contests. He’s up to 10 markers and 26 points in 32 games.
Adam Fox assisted on five of the Rangers’ eight goals. He has three goals and 26 points in 31 contests. Ryan Strome contributed a goal and three assists for New York. That gives him 11 goals and 30 points in 32 games. This was another rough start for Carter Hart. He stopped just six of 11 shots before being pulled early in the second period. It’s worth noting that three of the goals he surrendered were power-play markers, but it was still the latest in a long line of disappointing starts for him. Brian Elliott stepped in and saved eight of 11 shots, so it’s not like he did much better.
Kevin Hayes scored a goal and registered an assist for the Flyers. He has 10 goals and 23 points in 32 contests. Igor Shesterkin saved 41 of 44 Flyers shots. He faced a staggering 18 shots in each of the second and third periods.
WASHINGTON 4 NEW JERSEY 3
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two goals, including the game winner. He’s up to five goals and 15 points in 22 games. Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him 15 goals and 27 points in 28 contests. Jesper Bratt found the back of the net for New Jersey. It was his third goal and 16th point in 25 games. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 18 of 22 shots last night. He has an 8-9-1 record, 2.98 GAA and .904 save percentage in 18 starts. At the other end of the ice, Vitek Vanecek saved 21 of 24 shots. He has a 14-5-3 record, 2.67 GAA and .910 save percentage in 23 games.
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CAROLINA 4 COLUMBUS 3 (OT)
Martin Necas scored a goal and registered an assist for the Hurricanes. He’s up to seven goals and 24 points in 29 games. Sebastian Aho netted the overtime winner. It was his 14th goal and 31st point in 32 contests. All three of Columbus’ goals were assisted on by Seth Jones. He has four goals and 20 points in 34 games. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 29 of 33 Hurricanes shots. He has an 8-10-6 record, 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage in 25 contests. Alex Nedeljkovic saved 33 of 36 shots on Thursday. That gives him an 8-2-2 record, 2.05 GAA and .929 save percentage in 12 starts.
TORONTO 3 OTTAWA 2 (OT)
Justin Holl scored the overtime winner. It was his second goal and 11th point in 33 contests. Jason Spezza found the back of the net for the Maple Leafs. He’s up to eight goals and 19 points in 32 games. Jack Campbell stopped 29 of 31 Senators shots. He has a 5-0-0 record, 1.18 GAA, and .958 save percentage in five starts.
Alex Formenton netted a goal for Ottawa. It was his first goal and point in his second game of the campaign. Anton Forsberg kicked out 38 of 41 shots on Thursday. He was making his first start of the season.
PITTSBURGH 4 BUFFALO 0
Casey DeSmith stopped all 36 Sabres’ shots. He improved to 8-3-0 with a 1.93 GAA and .928 save percentage in 12 contests. Sam Reinhart tied for the team-high with five shots. He’s on an eight-game goal scoring drought. Dustin Tokarski saved 27 of 30 shots last night. He has a 0-3-0 record, 4.11 GAA, and .890 save percentage in three contests.
Jared McCann found the back of the net twice. The Penguins forward has seven goals and 13 points in 21 contests. Sidney Crosby assisted on three of Pittsburgh’s four goals. He has 13 goals and 37 points in 33 games.
MINNESOTA 2 ST. LOUIS 0
Cam Talbot had to face 37 shots, but he still managed to earn the shutout. He has a 9-5-1 record, 2.34 GAA, and .925 save percentage in 16 starts. At the other end of the ice, Jordan Binnington only had to deal with 11 shots and he surrendered two goals. He faced just two shots in the first period and three shots in the third frame. David Perron led the Blues with nine shots. That’s the most he’s had in a single game this season. Marcus Johansson scored the game-winning goal. It was his third goal and fourth point in 14 games. Kirill Kaprizov also found the back of the net for Minnesota. He has 11 goals and 27 points in 32 contests.
CHICAGO 3 FLORIDA 0
Kevin Lankinen posted a 41-save shutout. He has a 12-7-4 record, 2.71 GAA and .920 save percentage in 23 starts. Owen Tippett fired nine shots on Lankinen. That’s three times his next highest shots total of 2020-21. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 18 of 20 shots last night. He’s 12-5-2 with a 2.92 GAA and .902 save percentage in 19 starts.
Patrick Kane scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has 13 goals and 46 points in 34 games. Brandon Hagel also had a goal and an assist for Chicago. That gives him four goals and 13 points in 31 contests.
NASHVILLE 7 DETROIT 1
Rocco Grimaldi led the Predators with four goals. He has seven goals and eight points in 26 contests.
Eeli Tolvanen contributed a goal for Nashville. That gives him eight goals and 14 points in 25 games.
Juuse Saros stopped 20 of 21 Red Wings shots. He’s allowed just three goals in his last four games.
Thomas Greiss had a rough night, stopping just four of seven shots in 7:39 minutes before being yanked. Calvin Pickard came in and saved 19 of 23 shots the rest of the way. Bobby Ryan netted the lone Red Wings goal. He has seven goals and 14 points in 31 games.
DALLAS 4 TAMPA BAY 3
Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 of 41 Stars shots. That brought his winning streak to an end after 12 straight victories. Yanni Gourde scored a goal and registered an assist for Tampa Bay. He has 13 goals and 23 points in 33 contests. Roope Hintz scored the game-winning goal and registered two assists. gives him 10 goals and 21 points in 21 games.
Joe Pavelski also had a goal and two assists for Dallas. He’s up to 15 goals and 32 points in 30 contests.
Jake Oettinger saved 24 of 27 shots last night. He has a 5-2-6 record, 2.28 GAA, and .912 save percentage in 16 games.
COLORADO 5 VEGAS 1
The Golden Knights’ only goal was scored by Max Pacioretty. It was his 17th goal and 31st point in 29 games.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 of 32 Avalanche shots. He has surrendered at least three goals in each of his last three games.
At the other end of the ice, Philipp Grubauer saved 18 of 19 shots. He improved to 20-7-0 with a 1.69 GAA and .931 save percentage in 27 games.
J.T. Compher scored the game-winning goal and registered an assist. He has three goals and seven points in 24 contests.
Colorado also got a goal and an assist from Gabriel Landeskog. That gives him 11 goals and 29 points in 30 games.