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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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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 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
4 DET 51 25 18 8 125 130 58
5 MTL 52 24 24 4 137 141 52
6 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
7 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
8 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 52 11 44 2 55
B. Ryan 51 18 26 -2 44
M. Hoffman 48 23 18 5 41
M. Stone 50 13 23 -14 36
M. Zibanejad 51 10 21 -4 31
K. Turris 46 13 17 -11 30
J. Pageau 52 12 7 2 19
C. Ceci 45 5 10 -3 15
Z. Smith 51 9 4 5 13
C. Lazar 47 3 9 -3 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 20 17 4 .912 2.95
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10