The Buzzer: Zibanejad stars on Broadway; Blackhawks remain in playoff race
1) Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers
The 26-year-old scored five times as the Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals in overtime, 6-5. Zibanejad is the first NHL player to score five goals and the game-winning goal in overtime since Sergei Fedorov on Dec. 26, 1996. The alternate captain joined Don Murdoch and Mark Pavelich as the only players in franchise history to score five times in a single game. Zibanejad established himself as a top-line NHL center last season with a breakout campaign but reached new heights this year with 38 goals and 33 assists. The Blueshirts trail the New York Islanders by two points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race but have played one additional game.
2) Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks
Only four points separate six teams within striking distance of the wild card spots in the Western Conference. DeBrincat scored twice as the Blackhawks defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 at the United Center Thursday and extended their winning streak to four games. DeBrincat lit the lamp twice in the second period as Chicago pulled away from Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl recorded two assists in his Hart Trophy campaign.
3) Alain Vigneault, Philadelphia Flyers
It takes time for an NHL coach to implement his system in his first year with a new club, but AV has quietly led the Flyers to a tie for first place in the Metropolitan Division with 15 games remaining in the season. Philadelphia has recently climbed the standings and are in position to earn home-ice advantage in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Vigneault helped the Flyers move past an emotional win against the Capitals Wednesday and extend their winning streak to eight games with a 4-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes.
Highlights of the Night
Artemi Panarin delivered a sensational stretch pass as Zibanejad closed out the Capitals with the overtime winner.
Patric Hornqvist converted a spinning backhanded shot to record his first of two goals in the Penguins’ 4-2 win against the Sabres.
Patrick Kane netted his 30th of the season with this sharp-angled shot in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 win against the Oilers.
Brady Tkachuk looked off a defender before firing this short-side snipe as the Senators defeated the Islanders, 4-3.
Ivan Provorov scored for the second straight game as the Flyers tied the Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Torey Krug launched a slap shot in overtime to propel the Bruins to their fourth straight win.
Push for the Playoffs
Stat of the Night
Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Buffalo Sabres 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Montreal Canadiens 0
Boston Bruins 2, Florida Panthers 1 (OT)
New York Rangers 6. Washington Capitals 5 (OT)
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Carolina Hurricanes 1
Ottawa Senators 4, New York Islanders 3
Nashville Predators 2, Dallas Stars 0
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Edmonton Oilers 3
Los Angeles Kings 1, Toronto Maple Leafs (SO)
Minnesota Wild 3, San Jose Sharks 2
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.