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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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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 10 221 189 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Wiercioch 6 2 2 0 4
M. Zibanejad 6 1 3 0 4
E. Karlsson 6 1 3 -2 4
M. Stone 6 0 4 0 4
M. Hoffman 6 1 2 -3 3
B. Ryan 6 2 0 1 2
C. MacArthur 6 2 0 -2 2
K. Turris 6 1 1 -2 2
C. Ceci 6 0 2 0 2
M. Michalek 6 1 0 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 2 2 1 .972 0.97
A. Hammond 0 2 1 .914 3.44