March 6, 2020
Mika Zibanejad became the second player in NHL history to score five goals and an overtime-winner in the same game.
No NHL player had scored five goals in a game since Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets did it on Nov. 24, 2018. Zibanejad joined Don Murdoch (1976) and Mark Pavelich (1983) as the only Rangers to score five times.
“Sit back and watch it and enjoy it because it was a special night in so many ways for him and for us obviously to win a game of that magnitude, the ebbs and flows of it,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “It was a special night obviously, not just for Mika, but for all of us to be part of it.”
Zibanejad, the 26-year-old, unforgettable performance in the New York Rangers’ 6-5 win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday has made him the center of attention in the NHL. The rest of the league is beginning to recognize his place among the game’s elite, which his teammates claim is overdue.
“He plays on the power play, on the penalty kill, he’s so good in the defensive zone, he scores goals, he does everything,” rookie Kaapo Kakko said. “For a player like me, I want to work on all of those things and be better next season.”