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Inside the Senate
 

Memorable Monday: Zibanejad's First NHL Goal

Monday, 06.10.2013 / 12:49 PM ET
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog
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Inside the Senate Blog
Memorable Monday: Zibanejad\'s First NHL Goal



It’s the second consecutive Memorable Monday of the summer to profile a Swedish rookie’s first NHL goal. Last week we reviewed Jakob Silfverberg’s first and today we’re going to be taking a look at Mika Zibanejad’s first career tally at the NHL level.

With the injury to Jason Spezza creating a hole in the Sens lineup, Zibanejad — Ottawa’s first pick in the 2011 Entry Draft got the call to join the big club. In his first game against the Washington Capitals he was named the first star for a solid debut and efforts that yielded an assist. While it would have been easy to suggest he couldn’t top that first game, he found a way, using his second game to get a major career milestone out of the way.

Taking a power play shift between Jakob Silfverberg and Colin Greening, Zibanejad set up camp at the top of the circle to Habs goalie Peter Budaj’s right side. After taking a drop pass from Greening, Zibanejad walked in, wound up and blasted a shot underneath Montreal’s Alexei Emelin, which generated a big bounce that found the top shelf. A big shot coupled with screens from Emelin and Silfverberg meant Budaj had no chance and Zibanejad had a puck to mount on his wall.

Take a look...

At season’s end, Zibanejad was amongst the top rookies in the NHL, posting 20 points in 42 games. That pace would have left him with roughly 39 points over an 82 game season a solid total, especially considering he turned 20 years old in mid-April. With a year of NHL experience under his belt and assuming the Sens stay relatively healthy in 2013-14 potentially softer matchups than he was forced to face at centre, Zibanejad could be poised to take a big step forward next season.

While the so-called sophomore jinx may loom large in the minds of some, there was plenty to like from Zibanejad as a rookie and plenty more room for optimism going forward.


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 21 45 7 66
M. Stone 80 26 38 21 64
K. Turris 82 24 40 5 64
B. Ryan 78 18 36 5 54
M. Hoffman 79 27 21 16 48
M. Zibanejad 80 20 26 0 46
C. MacArthur 62 16 20 -6 36
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
D. Legwand 80 9 18 1 27
A. Chiasson 76 11 15 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02