Zibanejad Stays Hot, Rangers Beat Sabres in OT 3-2

Zibanejad

Mika Zibanejad

 

 

What a turnaround the Rangers have been on since the start of the season. At the beginning of the season, this team looked down and out of any playoff chances. Right now, they are right in the mix with the top teams. A big part of the turnaround is the play of Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad started the season on one of the worst streaks I have ever seen for a superstar. He couldn’t put the puck in a soccer net to save his life. Now he has found his groove and is on pace to give the Rangers a fighting chance in the standings.

Zibanejad came into this game with eleven goals and sixteen assists in just 35 games played. That is pretty good considering the start to the season he had. He added to that point total in this game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres are fresh off of breaking their eighteen-game losing streak last night. They seemed to ride that momentum into this game. In the end, Zibanejad got the last laugh as he scores the overtime winner. This gives the Rangers a huge two points in the standings.

 

 

Give the Sabres Credit

Even though the season is long gone for Buffalo, they can hang in there with some of the best. They were down in this game 2-1 in the final minutes of the game. That is when Tage Thompson puts in a goal with 4 seconds left to tie this game and send it to overtime. There is some credit to give to Dustin Tokarski. He stopped 44 of 47 shots tonight. The defense was sketchy in front of him while he gave this team their best chance to win all night long.

 

Panarin and Zibanejad

This combo is one of the best in the entire NHL these past few seasons. When you get a 2-on-1 in overtime with these two on offense, it is almost a guaranteed goal every time. Both players have over thirty points apiece as we are heading down the final stretch of the season. With the way these two are carrying the Rangers, I can see this team making a serious push for that final playoff spot.

The Rangers have done everything right with their rebuild over the last few years. The emergence of Zibanejad and the mega signing of Panarin are a huge reason for that. The duo just looks unstoppable sometimes and the Rangers can not afford to lose either one of them. Panarin was an MVP finalist for a reason last year. Maybe Zibanejad can be in that conversation this year with the year he is having.

 

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