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Zibanejad nets Hat Trick as Rangers beat Devils 4-3

1st Period:

  • 05:10 New Jersey PPG – Nico Hischier (14) 0-1
  • 16:18 New Jersey PPG – Marcus Johansson (8) ASST: Brian Boyle (6), Damon Severson (18) 0-2
  • 19:58 New York PPG – Mika Zibanejad (18) ASST: Kevin Hayes (24) 1-2

2nd Period

  • 16:36 New York PPG – Mika Zibanejad (19) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (17), Kevin Hayes (25) 2-2

3rd Period



  • 04:43 New York Chris Kreider (23) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (18), Mika Zibanejad (28) 3-2
  • 05:36 New Jersey Egor Yakovlev (2) ASST: Marcus Johansson (11), Nico Hischier (20) 3-3
  • 15:24 New York Mika Zibanejad (20) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (19), Pavel Buchnevich (7) 4-3

Henrik Lundqvist said of Zibanejad, on MSG, “He’s so strong on the puck, he always looks good out there. I like the way he plays because he understands both sides of the ice. It’s huge when he brings so much to the table offensively…he’s a good player, really good. His skill level, the way he shoots the puck.”

David Quinn said on MSG:

  • On Zibanejad, “I keep thinking back to when early in the season when I thought he was playing really well but wasn’t getting rewarded statistically and he and I had some conversations regarding that and talked about how when goals come they come in flurries and they are coming at a snow storm rate right now, which is good for us.”
  • On Buchnevich, “I thought Buch was playing well. I thought he earned that opportunity.”

Stats:

Adam Rotter:

  • The Rangers need to add/develop a lot to get back to where they were a few years ago but those pieces will all fit around their number one center: Mika Zibanejad. He is a difference maker for the Rangers, excellent on the PP and growing into someone trusted to play in all situations. His finish on the Hat Trick/Winning goal was jump out of the seat good.
  • If it happens that Mats Zuccarello is traded, and it looks like that will be the case, he is ending this run with the Rangers playing as well as ever. I just can’t shake this feeling that even if Zuccarello is traded that he ultimately returns to the Rangers this summer. He wants to stay and the team loves him but salary and term would need be right. The summer is a long way from now and the Rangers will have other interests, but I think it’s possible that Zuccarello is only away from the Rangers for a few months.
  • As for the game, the Rangers took too many penalties in the first and when they made mistakes, Jimmy Vesey’s pass in the third, the Devils capitalized. Overall I thought the Rangers were the better team and limited the Devils opportunities, especially in the second, and once they stopped taking penalties they were able to pressure and pull out a win.
  • It was nice to see Pavel Buchnevich get some bigger minutes in the third even though they came at the expense of Jimmy Vesey. I’d imagine Buchnevich will get Vesey’s spot for Saturday’s game against Tampa.