There are hat tricks, and then there are your fancy hat tricks. New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad did the latter as he sent three past Ottawa Senators netminder Craig Anderson — three separate ways.
Zibanejad scored a power-play goal, an even-strength goal and a shorthanded goal on Saturday night against his former squad. He is the first Ranger to accomplish the feat since Derek Stepan in 2014, and the hat trick marked the third in the Swede’s career.
After netting a career-high in goals (30) and points (74) last season, he scored on opening night against the Winnipeg Jets and now has four goals in two games. With an assist in the game as well, he is the first player in the NHL to record eight points in a team’s first two games since Jaromir Jagr in 1995-96.
Here’s a look at the three goals.
Goal No. 1: Power-play goal
In the first period, Zibanejad gives the Rangers a 1-0 lead as he glides around the slot untouched and buries the rebound. Last season he scored 11 goals with the man-advantage, three shy of his career-high from 2017-18.
Goal No. 2: Even strength
This one was an absolute beauty. The line of Artemi Panarin, Pavel Buchnevich and Zibanejad showed off some fancy tic-tac-toe passing that left Anderson just scratching his head. While he won’t get an assist on the play, rookie defenseman Adam Fox made the original outlet pass that led to the 3-on-2 and all the open lanes for the Rangers to take advantage of.
Goal No. 3: Shorthanded
Showing the poise and patience of a veteran just starting his ninth year in the NHL, Zibanejad broke out 2-on-1 with Kaapo Kakko. Rookie defenseman Erik Brannstrom played the pass until the very end, so Zibanejad held onto the puck, and when Brannstrom cheated to his side, he pulled up and beat Anderson up high. The goal marked the fifth shorthanded goal for the Senators’ first-round pick in 2011.
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