SEE IT: Mika Zibanejad Becomes Fastest Ranger To Reach 40 Goals

Forward Is On Pace For Career High In Points

Alec Gearty
March 11, 2020 - 10:37 am
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As the Rangers remain in the thick of the playoff race, forward Artemi Panarin compiled a worthy case for the Hart Memorial Trophy, which honors the player most valuable to his team. Mika Zibanejad, however, has quietly experienced a standout season in the midst of Panarin's sellar campaign. 

Zibanejad's first period tally against Dallas' Ben Bishop marked the fastest any Rangers' player reached 40 goals in a season, breaking Jean Ratelle's 48-year-old record with one game in hand, according to TSN

Zibanejad reached 40 goals for the first time in his nine-year career. He sits in fifth place and eight goals shy of Washington's Alex Ovechkin and Boston's David Pastrnak in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy, awarded to the player with the most goals. 

Despite missing the first 13 games of the season, Zibanejad already matched his career high in points (74), which he set last season. 

Zibanejad has thrived upon his arrival in New York. He'd eclipsed the 40-point plateau twice in his first five seasons in Ottawa. The 26-year-old saw a steady rise in his point production since 2016, when the Rangers acquired Zibanejad and a draft pick in exchange for Derrick Brassard. 

Jaromir Jagr's 53 goals remains the Rangers' standard for most goals in a season. 

New York (37-28-4) is three points shy of the Columbus Blue Jackets final playoff spot.

Related: Hartnett: Patience Is Key For Rangers' Kaapo Kakko