The New York Rangers introduced a lot of new faces for the 2019-20 season, but it is one of their returning players that is making the biggest impact so far.
Top center Mika Zibanejad recorded his second consecutive four-point game to open the season on Saturday night when he scored three goals and added an assist in the Rangers’ convincing 4-1 over the Ottawa Senators. He is now up to eight points in two games and seems to have formed an instant chemistry with new winger Artemi Panarin.
What stands out about his effort on Saturday — aside from the fact it came against his former team — is that his hat trick saw him score each goal a different way, finding the back of the net on the power play, at even-strength, and shorthanded.
The even-strength goal, which was his second of the night, was the prettiest as he completed an absolutely filthy tic-tac-toe passing play off the rush.
Here is a look at all three goals.
Scoring three different ways in a single game isn’t totally unheard of, but it is not all that common, either. Zibanejad’s performance on Saturday is just the 14th time it has happened over the past 10 years. Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho and Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkork were the only player to do it in the NHL a year ago.