Mika Zibanejad of Huddinge, Sweden, has put together not one, but two mind-boggling games for the New York Rangers against the Philadelphia Flyers in a span of just over a week. After registering three goals and three assists for six points in the second period on St. Patrick’s Day in a 9-0 Rangers win last week, Zibanejad again notched three goals and three assists for six points on Thursday in an 8-3 Rangers win over the Flyers.
In both games, Zibanejad had a natural hat trick by scoring three straight goals. On Thursday, Zibanejad registered his first point with an assist on a goal by Pavel Buchnevich of Cherepovets, Russia at the 8:53 mark of the first period to put the Rangers up 2-0. Zibanejad then notched his three straight goals. He put the Rangers up 3-0 from Adam Fox of Jericho, NY, and Ryan Strome of Mississauga, Ontario at 13:36 of the first period on the power play. Then in the second period, he scored at the 54-second mark on the power play from Fox and Strome to put the Rangers up 4-0, and then scored again at 2:06 of the second period with the man advantage from Fox and Strome, to put the Rangers up 5-0. Zibanejad then notched assists on a second period goal from K’Andre Miller and a third-period shorthanded goal by Buchnevich.
Zibanejad was one of four Rangers with a multi-point game. Fox had five assists, Strome had one goal and three assists for four points, and Buchnevich had two goals.
In a remarkable statistic, Zibanejad has 53.8% of his points this season in three games against the Flyers. He also had two assists against Philadelphia on February 24 in a 4-3 Flyers win. In the other 29 games he has had this season, Zibanejad has been ordinary with only four goals and eight assists for 12 points. Also in the past week, Zibanejad has been a +10. He has gone from a -5 to a +5 over the last five Rangers games.