Nearly 11 months ago, Mika Zibanejad produced one of the NHL’s most memorable performances by topping off a five-goal night with a game-winning overtime goal to help the New York Rangers to a 6-5 victory over the Washington Capitals on March 5. Following his dynamic performance, the league came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and his five-goal game was constantly re-broadcast on channels seeking to fill hours of programming.
His performance last March was part of a career-best 41-goal season, but Zibanejad and the Rangers have gotten off to a slow start so far, with New York seeking back-to-back victories for the first time this season on Thursday night. when I get to Washington.
New York is 2-0-1 since losing four in a row and Zibanejad’s only goal was Jan. 19 against the New Jersey Devils. They are goalless in their last six games, a stretch in which New York played five one-goal games.
“We have five of our last six points and we are spinning,” New York coach David Quinn said. “We keep doing that and we continue to improve and get some guys’ game back on track, we’ll be in the middle.”
The Rangers are coming off one of their best performances when they bounced back from Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss to Pittsburgh and posted a 3-1 win over the Penguins on Monday. Chris Kreider scored the tiebreaker power goal in the third period, while Artemi Panarin scored a goal from the empty net and added two assists to cap an eventful day after the Rangers said defender Tony DeAngelo would never play another. match for them after it was suspended on Sunday. .
“It was very important, and it was always important for us to win, especially right now, after the last two or three games,” said Panarin. “I am very happy that we finally won.”
Igor Shesterkin made 25 saves, helped the Rangers finish off six power plays and Quinn said Wednesday he would play Thursday.
Washington is coming off its first regulation loss after losing 5-3 to the Boston Bruins on Monday. The Capitals won three in a row before allowing four goals in the third period, and it marked the second time they allowed at least five goals.
Zdeno Chara, Daniel Sprong and John Carlson scored, while Jakub Vrana added two assists for the Capitals, who are helping Alex Ovechkin get back into the lineup after he missed four games to follow NHL COVID-19 protocols. He scored the winning goal in overtime on Saturday and then played 23 minutes on Monday as Washington was outshot 16-6 in the final 20 minutes.
“We weren’t going to go 56-0,” Washington center Nicklas Backstrom said. “We had the game going, we were in the lead. We should have been able to do a better third period than ours.”
Ovechkin enters Thursday with 708 career goals and is tied for seventh with Mike Gartner on the all-time list. He has two goals and five assists so far in his first six games and scored twice in his last game against the Rangers.
While Ovechkin has returned, the Capitals will likely be without Evgeny Kuznetsov and goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov, who did not train on Wednesday while recovering from quarantine due to being on the NHL’s COVID-19 unavailable list.
Samsonov’s role has been replaced by Vitek Vanecek, who is 5-1-2 with an average of 2.94 goals against and a .913 save percentage.
–Field level media
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.