Mika Zibanejad became the first NHL player in more than 23 years with five goals in a game, including the overtime winner, when he scored 33 seconds into OT to give the New York Rangers a 6-5 win against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
The center is the seventh NHL player since 1994-95 to score five goals in a game and the first to score his fifth goal in overtime since Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings did it against Washington on Dec. 26, 1996. Zibanejad is the third player in Rangers history to score five goals in a game, joining Mark Pavelich (Feb. 23, 1983 against the Hartford Whalers) and Don Murdoch (Oct. 12, 1976 against the Minnesota North Stars).
Video: Memories: Sergei Fedorov tallies 5 goals in a game
Zibanejad leads New York with 38 goals in 54 games, including 14 in his past 10. He joined Jean Ratelle (15 from Feb. 5-22, 1972 and 14 from Feb. 6-23, 1972) as the second player in Rangers history to score that many goals in a 10-game span.
The victory moved the Rangers (36-27-4) within two points of the New York Islanders (35-23-8) for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
It was the sixth game this season to feature five game-tying goals. This season is the seventh in the past 30 years with at least six such games. The others: 2018-19 (six), 2010-11 (seven), 1995-96 (six), 1992-93 (seven), 1991-92 (six) and 1990-91 (six).
Zibanejad's big night overshadowed a two-goal performance by Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who forced overtime when he scored with 43 seconds remaining in the third period. Ovechkin tied Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak for the NHL goal-scoring lead with 47. It was the 145th multigoal game of his NHL career, moving him within two of Gordie Howe for fourth place all-time. Ovechkin, with 705 goals in his League career, is three from tying Mike Gartner (708) for seventh place on the NHL all-time list.
Flyers win eighth straight, tie for first in Metropolitan Division
The Philadelphia Flyers moved into a tie with Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division by winning their eighth straight game, 4-1 against the Carolina Hurricanes at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers (40-27-7) have scored at least four goals in each game during their streak. It's the sixth time since entering the NHL in 1967 that they've scored at least four goals in at least eight consecutive games, and the first time since 1992-93 (nine games).
Goalie Carter Hart made 28 saves and has won six consecutive decisions. The 21-year-old has a winning streak of at least six games for the second time in his NHL career; he was 8-0-0 from Jan. 14-Feb. 9, 2019, during his rookie season.
First-year coach Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault has had a winning streak of at least eight games with three different teams; he also did so with the Vancouver Canucks (8-0-0 in 2010-11) and Rangers (8-0-0 in 2014-15 and 9-0-0 in 2015-16). Vigneault is the fifth coach in NHL history to have a winning streak of at least eight games with more than two teams.
Wild win sixth straight on road, move into wild card in West
The Minnesota Wild hold a playoff position for the first time since Dec. 6 after extending their road winning streak to six games by defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-2 at SAP Center. It's the fourth time since entering the NHL in 2000 that the Wild have won at least six consecutive road games.
The Wild (34-26-7) moved past the Canucks (34-26-6), Winnipeg Jets (34-28-6) and Arizona Coyotes (33-27-8) into the first wild card in the Western Conference. Those three teams and the Nashville Predators (33-26-8) are tied for the second wild card after the Predators defeated the Dallas Stars 2-0 at Bridgestone Arena in their first home game since a tornado moved through the city on Tuesday.
Bergeron, Kane reach 30-goal mark
Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane each scored his 30th goal of the season Thursday.
Bergeron, selected by Boston in the second round (No. 45) of the 2003 NHL Draft, reached the 30-goal mark for the sixth time when he scored in the Bruins' 2-1 overtime win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center. Only Phil Esposito (eight), Rick Middleton (eight) and Johnny Bucyk (seven) have had more 30-goal seasons with the Bruins.
Kane, taken by the Blackhawks with the No. 1 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, became a 30-goal scorer for the fifth time during Chicago's 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers at United Center. He is one behind Coyotes forward Phil Kessel, Wild forward Zach Parise and Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty for the most 30-goal seasons among active United States-born players.