Mika Zibanejad continued his marvelous National Hockey League regular season with the New York Rangers on Sunday. The native of Huddinge, Sweden notched his third hat trick of the 2020-21 season and seventh of his NHL career in a 6-3 Rangers win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Zibanejad opened the scoring at 4:49 of the first period from Alexis Lafreniere of St-Eustache, Quebec, and Ryan Lindgren of Burnsville, MN. He then put the Rangers up 3-1 at 17:10 of the first period with a power-play marker from Artemi Panarin of Korkino, Russia, and Adam Fox of Jericho, NY. Zibanejad’s hat trick came at 2:05 of the second period with a game-winning goal from Pavel Buchnevich of Cherepovets, Russia, and Fox.
Zibanejad was one of four Rangers players with a multi-point game. The others were Fox (three assists), Buchnevich (two assists), and Kaapo Kakko of Turku, Finland (two goals). The other Rangers’ goal scorer was center Kevin Rooney of Canton, MA.
Zibanejad’s other hat tricks this season came in a 9-0 Rangers win over the Philadelphia Flyers on March 17, and in an 8-3 Rangers win over the Flyers on March 25. He became the first player this season with three hat tricks. Zibanejad’s four prior NHL career hat tricks came in a 6-4 Ottawa Senators win over the Calgary Flames on February 27, 2016, in a 4-3 Rangers win over the New Jersey Devils on January 31, 2019, in a 4-1 Rangers win over the Senators on October 5, 2019, and in a 6-5 Rangers win over the Washington Capitals on March 5, 2020.
On the season, Zibanejad now has 19 goals and 26 assists for 45 points in 49 games. He is a +8 with 16 penalty minutes, 12 power-play points, six game-winning goals, four shorthanded points, 141 shots on goal, 418 faceoff wins, 38 blocked shots, 65 hits, 30 takeaways, and 39 giveaways. Zibanejad leads the Rangers in game-winning goals, shorthanded points, shots on goal, and faceoff wins. He is third on the team in scoring behind Panarin and Fox.