The New York Rangers refuse to give up on their hopes of reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.
Mika Zibanejad scored five goals as the Blueshirts collected a thrilling 6-5 overtime win against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden Thursday. The Swedish center became the fifth NHL player to accomplish that feat since Sergei Fedorov scored five against the Capitals in December of 1996.
“I feel like I am speechless right now,” Zibanjead said following the spectacular performance. Crazy game. It’s a good team we are playing and we find a way. … We were on a good streak before and know it wasn’t a fluke.”
The Rangers trail the Islanders by two points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, but have played one additional game.
Alex Ovechkin scored two game-tying goals in the third period, but the Capitals fell for the second straight game and are tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the top spot in the Metro Division. The Capitals captain is tied with Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the NHL lead in goals scored this season.
Artemi Panarin flung a pass from inside his own blueline to set up Zibanejad for the game-winner 33 seconds into the extra session. The high-priced summer addition set a new career high with 61 assists and 93 points in his first season on Broadway. Tony DeAngelo also added a goal and two assists as New York snapped its three-game losing streak.
The Rangers host the New Jersey Devils Saturday night as MSG before a matchup with the Dallas Stars to kick off a three-game road trip.