New York Rangers left winger Pavel Buchnevich of Cherepovets, Russia became the 14th player in National Hockey League history on Saturday to record a hat trick on his birthday according to Colin Stephenson of Newsday. Buchnevich, who turned 26 years of age, accomplished the feat in a 6-3 Rangers win over the New Jersey Devils at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Buchnevich opened the scoring at 7:26 of the first period from Mika Zibanejad of Huddinge, Sweden, and Artemi Panarin of Korkino, Russia. Interestingly, it is Zibanejad’s 28th birthday on Sunday. Buchnevich then put the Rangers up 3-0 with a power-play goal at 11:48 of the first period from Colin Blackwell of Lawrence, MA, and K’Andre Miller of St. Paul, MN. Then with one minute and 21 seconds left in the contest, Buchnevich recorded the hat trick from Zibanejad and Panarin again to put the Rangers up 5-3.
Buchnevich was one of five Rangers to have a multi-point game. The others were Panarin (one goal and three assists for four points), Ryan Strome of Mississauga, Ontario (one goal and two assists for three points), Zibanejad (three assists), and Ryan Lindgren of Burnsville, MN (two assists). The other Rangers goal scorer was Chris Kreider of Boxford, MA.
The other 13 players to record a hat trick on their birthday were Wayne Gretzky of Brantford, Ontario; Paul MacLean of Grostenquin, France; Lanny McDonald of Hanna, Alberta; Patrick Sharp of Winnipeg, Manitoba; Viktor Arvidsson of Skelleftea, Sweden; Pavol Demitra of Dubnica, Slovakia; Dino Ciccarelli of Sarnia, Ontario; Gilbert Perreault of Victoriaville, Quebec; Mats Hallin of Esklistuna, Sweden; Phil Esposito of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Butch Goring of St. Boniface, Manitoba; Jari Kurri of Helsinki, Finland, and Mike Gartner of Ottawa, Ontario. Gretzky accomplished the feat twice.
Arvidsson also recorded a hat trick on his birthday this season. He scored thrice on April 8 in a 7-1 Nashville Predators win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Buchnevich also became the first player to record a hat trick on his birthday while playing for the Rangers. Gretzky, Esposito, Kurri, and Gartner all played for the Rangers in their career, but registered a hat trick with another team on their birthday.