Rangers vs Devils: Mika Zibanejad’s Hat Trick Fuels 4-3 Win Over New Jersey

After being shutout on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers rebounded this evening with a come-from-behind victory over the New Jersey Devils. Mika Zibanejad’s hat trick fueled the Rangers comeback this evening, including a late third period goal to put the Rangers up 4-3. Mats Zuccarello added three more points to his season totals as well, with another strong game in the offensive zone.

1-0 Devils - PPG
Nico Hischier (14) - Pavel Zacha (6) & Jesper Bratt (17) - 5:10 1st Period

Following a failed power play chance by the Rangers, the Devils had an opportunity of their own on the power play and took full advantage. The Devils were able to create a net-front scramble, and just as the Rangers were attempting to clear the puck, Pavel Zacha tied up Neal Pionk which led to a turnover. Nico Hischier was able to jump on the loose puck, and quickly fire the puck on net all in one motion to beat Henrik Lundqvist.

2-0 Devils - PPG
Marcus Johansson (8) - Brian Boyle (6) & Damon Severson (18) - 16:18 1st Period

A little over ten minutes later, the Devils were able to double up their lead with Marcus Johansson’s eighth goal of the season. The Devils were able to convert on their second power play opportunity after Brian Boyle shoveled the puck off of the post, and it slipped in behind Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist held his ground, but unfortunately, the puck slid all the way out to the other side where Marcus Johansson tapped home the puck with a diving effort in the crease.

2-1 Devils - PPG
Mika Zibanejad (18) - Kevin Hayes (24) - 19:58 1st Period

The Rangers were able to pickup a huge goal with two seconds remaining in the first period to bring themselves back within a goal. Kevin Hayes was able to crank a slap shot right off of the faceoff, and Mika Zibanejad tipped the puck back under Keith Kinkaid to make it a 2-1 game.

2-2 Tie - PPG
Mika Zibanejad (19) - Mats Zuccarello (17) & Kevin Hayes (25) - 16:36 2nd Period

Later on in the second period, the Rangers were finally able to find the tying goal as Mika Zibanejad sniped home his second of the game. The goal came on yet another power play for the Rangers, and Mats Zuccarello set it all up with a beautiful cross-ice feed over to Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad was able to collect the puck, and quickly fired it over Keith Kinkaid’s shoulder to bring the Rangers back even.

3-2 Rangers
Chris Kreider (23) - Mats Zuccarello (18) & Mika Zibanejad (28) - 4:43 3rd Period

It took until the third period for the first even-strength goal to be scored in this game, and it was in the Rangers favor. Chris Kreider picked up his 23rd goal of the season to give the Rangers a 3-2 late in the third period, and it came on yet another dominating shift by the top line. Mats Zuccarello was able to feed Chris Kreider off to the right side of the net, and Kreider ripped a shot through Keith Kinkaid to make it a 3-2 game.

3-3 Tie
Egor Yakovlev (2) - Marcus Johansson (11) & Nick Hischier (20) - 5:36 3rd Period

However, a little under a minute later, the Devils were able to claw right back and scored a goal of their own to tie the game back up at 3-3. The Devils were able to catch the Rangers in a mini odd-man rush into the zone, and Egor Yakovlev capped off a beautiful feed from Marcus Johansson just inside the high slot.

4-3 Rangers
Mika Zibanejad (20) - Mats Zuccarello (19) & Pavel Buchnevich (7) - 15:24 3rd Period

The top line came on for yet another shift, and it resulted in yet another goal for the Rangers. Pavel Buchnevich joined the line during a line change, and kept the puck alive several times below the goal line. That eventually led to Mats Zuccarello collecting the puck in the corner, and dishing an absolute DIME of a pass out to Mika Zibanejad cutting into the high slot. Zibanejad made a ridiculous forehand-to-backhand move and flipped the puck over Kinkaid to cap off the hat trick.

Following tonight’s come from behind victory over the New Jersey Devils, the New York Rangers will be off tomorrow before returning to action on Saturday evening against the Tampa Bay Lightning.