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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 MTL 22 16 5 1 61 52 33
2 TBL 22 14 6 2 77 60 30
3 BOS 22 13 9 0 57 54 26
4 DET 20 10 5 5 55 49 25
5 TOR 21 11 8 2 67 63 24
6 OTT 19 9 6 4 52 50 22
7 FLA 18 7 5 6 40 47 20
8 BUF 21 6 13 2 36 70 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. MacArthur 19 8 6 -4 14
E. Karlsson 19 5 9 -4 14
B. Ryan 18 5 7 0 12
K. Turris 19 3 9 -3 12
M. Stone 18 5 5 3 10
A. Chiasson 16 5 5 -4 10
M. Hoffman 16 7 1 8 8
M. Michalek 19 2 5 -1 7
C. Ceci 19 0 7 2 7
M. Zibanejad 19 3 3 -1 6
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 5 3 3 .935 2.23
R. Lehner 4 3 1 .916 2.85