After the game, the Rangers players ambushed the star centre with a big celebration as he entered the locker room. To say that Zibanejad was at a loss for words might be an understatement.
“I feel like I’m speechless right now,” Zibanejad told reporters after the game. “The puck followed me today. I was in the right spot at the right time. I’m just happy we won.”
The 26-year-old took social media by storm as he became the first NHL player to score five goals this season. Of course, when the performance occurs at Madison Square Garden, Twitter is going to take note.
— Henrik Lundqvist (@HLundqvist30) March 6, 2020
David Quinn's reaction to Mika Zibanejad scoring 5⃣ goals
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 6, 2020
87 OVR may be a bit too low for Zibanejad https://t.co/cvK4djbfqP
— #NHL20 (@EASPORTSNHL) March 6, 2020
Three #NYR players have 5-point games this season:
Zibanejad: 5G (3/5 vs. WSH)
Panarin: 2G/3A (1/13 vs. NYI)
DeAngelo: 3G/2A (1/9 vs. NJD)
From 2002-03 to 2018-19, three NYR players had 5-point games:
Gaborik: 4G/1A (1/19/11)
Callahan: 4G/1A (3/6/11)
Brassard: 2G/3A (1/25/16)
— Pete Jensen (@NHLJensen) March 6, 2020
This wasn’t the first time Zibanejad made history this season, as he was also the first player to score eight or more points in the first two games of the season since Jaromir Jagr did it back in 1995-96 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
There aren’t many players in NHL history who have accomplished what Zibanejad did Thursday night, considering he scored in all four periods and was just the second player in league history to get his fifth goal in overtime.
Sergei Federov was the last player to accomplish the feat and, ironically enough, he did it against the Capitals back on Dec. 26, 1996. Also, the last NHLer to score in the first, second, third and overtime periods was none other than Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin back in 2008.
Zibanejad has also been the best goal scorer in the NHL since the All-Star break, having posted 20 goals over his past 20 games.
Many people on social also made a point to remind us that Zibanejad was traded by the Ottawa Senators to the Rangers along with a second-round pick in exchange for Derrick Brassard and a seventh-round pick.
Safe to say Zibanejad earned the right to wear the fedora after the game.