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game recap

Zibanejad hat trick powers Rangers past Senators

Center scores at even strength, on power play, shorthanded in New York's second straight win

by Callum Fraser / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Zibanejad's peculiar hat trick

NYR@OTT: Zibanejad scores three different ways in win

Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad scores on the power play, at even strength and while shorthanded to record a hat trick against the Senators

  • 01:28 •

OTTAWA -- Mika Zibanejad had a hat trick and an assist for the New York Rangers in a 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

Zibanejad, who scored at even strength, on the power play and shorthanded, leads the NHL with eight points (four goals, four assists) in two games.

"It's where I started," said Zibanejad, who played his first 281 NHL games for the Senators. "It's where I got my first opportunity to play in the NHL, and I'm really thankful for that. And then to come here and do that, it's going to be a night I'll remember for a long time."

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Senators highlights]

 

Pavel Buchnevich had two assists, and Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist for New York, which has won its first two games. The Rangers were 2-for-3 on the power play.

"Sometimes that line [of Zibanejad, Panarin and Buchnevich] looks like they're playing a video game," New York defenseman Marc Staal said. "They just hit a couple buttons, tape to tape, back door and it looks pretty. It's a huge advantage to have them playing like that, and then having a power play that's scoring like that."

Video: NYR@OTT: Panarin one-times Zibanejad's pass for PPG

Brady Tkachuk scored, and Craig Anderson made 26 saves for Ottawa, which lost its home opener. The Senators have allowed nine goals in their first two games; they lost 5-3 at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

"Tonight, special teams certainly killed us," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "We gave up a shorthanded goal, we gave up two on the power play, so essentially their big dogs kind of took it to us tonight."

The Senators were 0-for-5 on the power play.

"I just thought we didn't work hard enough," Smith said. "Sometimes you take it as a privilege to be on the power play. I didn't think we worked hard enough. I didn't think we were hungry enough on loose pucks. We got beat bad in the face-off circle, so they cleared the puck and it was tough to enter [the offensive zone]."

Alexandar Georgiev made 31 saves for New York in his first start of the season.

"The guys played great today," Georgiev said. "I saw most of the shots. The one that went in, I got a little tangled up. But otherwise, the guys boxed out pretty well and let me see the shots."

Video: NYR@OTT: Georgiev turns away Brown, Anisimov

Zibanejad scored on a rebound in front of the net during a power play to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 6:04 of the first.

The Senators tied the game at 12:14 of the first when Thomas Chabot's slap shot from the point deflected off Tkachuk's skate to make it 1-1.

Video: NYR@OTT: Tkachuk deflects puck past Georgiev

Zibanejad finished a passing play with Buchnevich and Panarin to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead at 9:53 of the second.

He completed his third NHL hat trick at 12:07 when he toe-dragged around Erik Brannstrom and scored with a wrist shot on a 2-on-1 for a shorthanded goal to make it 3-1.

Panarin one-timed a pass from Zibanejad on a power play at 2:51 of the third period for the 4-1 final.

"I can't really explain what's going on right now," Zibanejad said. "I'm playing with good teammates and unbelievable players out there. I'm getting a lot of chances and now they're going in. I'll try to take advantage of that as much as I can."

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Hoffman, Zibanejad net three

 

They said it

"The thing I liked, we got better, and that's what we need to focus on. We need to focus on continuing to judge ourselves against ourselves, and what our capabilities are. We were much better tonight than we were [against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, a 6-4 win]." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

"I think we just keep on making little mistakes and missing little details in the [offensive] zone on where guys should be and where we should not be. At the end of the day, that's a big part of my game and I take pride in the power play, and obviously right now it's disappointing we're not doing it the right way. So, we're going to have to take a hard look at it and make sure that next game we're ready." -- Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot

 

Need to know

Zibanejad is the second player in Rangers history to have eight points through the first two games of a season (Rod Gilbert, 1976-77). … He is the sixth player in NHL history with at least four points in each of his team's first two games, first since John Cullen in 1990-91 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. ... Chabot played 30:15 and had an assist.

 

What's next

Rangers: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. (7:30 p.m. ET; RDSI, TSN5, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Video: Zibanejad's hat trick powers Rangers past Senators

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