Mika Zibanejad named NHL First Star of the Week

NHL: New York Rangers at Edmonton Oilers

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad of Huddinge, Sweden was named the National Hockey League first star of the week for the week from March 13 to 19, 2023. In four games, he had five goals and four assists for nine points. The Rangers also won all four contests. Zibanejad also was a +7 with one game-winning goal, one power-play point, four hits, two blocked shots, and 34 faceoff wins.

Zibanejad opened the week with a two-goal performance in a 5-3 Rangers win over the Washington Capitals on March 14. Three Russians picked up assists on the two Zibanejad goals. Vladimir Tarasenko of Yaroslavl, had the lone assist on the first Zibanejad goal at 4:09 of the first period, and Artemi Panarin of Korkino and goaltender Igor Shesterkin picked up assists on the second Zibanejad goal at 14:45 of the first period.

Two nights later on March 16, Zibanejad had one goal and one assist for two points in a 4-2 Rangers win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He opened the scoring from Panarin and Tarasenko at 2:51 of the first period, and then picked up a secondary assist on a goal by Chris Kreider of Boxford, Massachusetts to close out the scoring with 50 seconds left into an empty net.

On March 18, the Rangers beat the Penguins again. This time by a score of 6-0. Zibanejad scored the game-winning goal at 5:10 of the first period from Americans Jacob Trouba of Rochester, Michigan and K’Andre Miller of St. Paul, Minnesota. Zibanejad then picked up assists on second period goals by Tarasenko and Trouba for the three-point game.

Then on March 19, the Rangers clobbered the Nashville Predators 7-0. In the process, the Rangers had six first period goals. Zibanejad put the Rangers up 2-0 from Panarin at 7:22 of the first period, and then set up Panarin with a power-play goal at 10:01 of the opening frame.

The Rangers are in third place in the Metropolitan Division. They have 92 points.

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