Mika Zibanejad
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

In the dynamic realm of hockey, the sport offers a plethora of highlights that linger in our memories. The New York Rangers, a team with a rich history, have contributed numerous moments that resonate with many fans. In this feature titled “Remember When,” we delve into some of these moments—some noteworthy, others less so.

In this particular installment of “Remember When,” we revisit the night of April 20th, 2017, when Mika Zibanejad had his first big moment with the Rangers with a playoff OT winner.

In a thrilling overtime showdown in Montreal, Mika Zibanejad sealed the deal for the New York Rangers with a goal at 14:22, securing a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. The winning shot came off a rebound from Chris Kreider’s rush, deflecting off Alexei Emelin’s stick directly to Zibanejad, who made no mistake in finding the open side of the net.

Contributions from Jesper Fast and Brady Skjei, along with a stellar 34-save performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, propelled the Rangers to victory. Meanwhile, Montreal’s Artturi Lehkonen and Brendan Gallagher found the back of the net in the first period, with Carey Price making 33 saves in the Canadiens’ effort.

The game saw early missed opportunities for the Rangers, notably Mats Zuccarello’s inability to convert a golden chance in the opening minute. Montreal capitalized first as Lehkonen scored on a spin-around shot, but the Rangers swiftly responded with a short-handed goal from Fast and another from Skjei later in the game.

Skjei’s performance was particularly notable as he became the first Rangers rookie defenseman with two playoff goals since Brian Leetch in 1989. Despite tense moments and missed chances, including a post hit by Montreal’s Phillip Danault and a breakaway denied by Lundqvist, the Rangers maintained pressure throughout the scoreless third period.

The game eventually found its dramatic conclusion in overtime, with Zibanejad clinching the win for the Rangers, though not without earlier opportunities missed by Kreider.


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