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Memorable Monday: Zibanejad's First NHL Goal

Monday, 10.06.2013 / 12:49 PM
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 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
5 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
6 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
7 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
8 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Ryan 45 14 23 7 37
E. Karlsson 48 12 23 -5 35
K. Turris 48 9 21 -8 30
M. Stone 46 12 16 10 28
M. Hoffman 45 17 9 18 26
M. Zibanejad 46 13 13 0 26
C. MacArthur 47 13 13 -9 26
D. Legwand 46 7 14 -2 21
A. Chiasson 44 8 10 -8 18
M. Michalek 44 7 9 -6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 13 11 7 .927 2.37
R. Lehner 7 8 2 .903 3.14