Mika Zibanejad's Growing Legend Celebrated as Rangers Beat Lightning in Game 2

Erin WalshJune 4, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 03: Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers shoots the puck during the third period in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden on June 3, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday to take a 2-0 lead with the series set to shift to Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, for the next two matchups.

While Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov opened the scoring, the Blueshirts responded with goals from K'Andre Miller, Kaapo Kakko and Mika Zibanejad to take a 3-1 lead and put the game out of reach for the Bolts.

Zibanejad now has nine goals this postseason, and his early third-period tally in Game 2 was all anyone could talk about on Friday night. Some even said that the 29-year-old is making himself a "Rangers legend" with his performance this postseason.

Jason Bisnoff @JBisnoff

Mika Zibanejad is in the midst of making himself a Rangers legend with this run

NYR Stats & Info @NYRStatsInfo

Mika Zibanejad has goals in six of his last seven games and points in seven-straight contests (6G-5A).

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Mika Zibanejad extended his home goal streak to six games. Only three players in NHL history have recorded a longer such run in a playoff year: Guy Lafleur (8 GP in 1979), Paul Coffey (7 GP in 1985) and Reggie Leach (7 GP in 1976). <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLStats?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLStats</a>: <a href="https://t.co/LP6LdYilKR">https://t.co/LP6LdYilKR</a> <a href="https://t.co/L0Qu3Jcme1">pic.twitter.com/L0Qu3Jcme1</a>

Dan Orlovsky @danorlovsky7

This Zibanejad guy shoots lasers huh<a href="https://twitter.com/NYRangers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NYRangers</a>

Travis Yost @travisyost

Zibanejad just sublime. Can he do it for six more games? Genuine Conn Smythe candidate.

Jeff J. @JeffJSays

Mika OWNS Vasilevsky <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoQuitInNY?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NoQuitInNY</a>

Sportsnet Stats @SNstats

Rangers are 6-1 when Mika Zibanejad scores a goal in the 2022 playoffs<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a>

Matt @Shattykirk

When the Ottawa Senators actually traded Mika Zibanejad for Derick Brassard <a href="https://t.co/pAwNLdziKF">pic.twitter.com/pAwNLdziKF</a>

Xposed @Xposed

Zibanejad is so underrated it’s crazy.

HabsLinks @HabsLinks

Whoever managed to trade Derek Brassard for Mika Zibanejad must be a pretty smart guy, eh?

Spinorama 🔄 Hockey @spinohockey

Mika Zibanejad and a 2nd for Derick Brassard and a 7th. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a> <a href="https://t.co/y0NX6j5yo2">pic.twitter.com/y0NX6j5yo2</a>

Greg Sirico @GregSiricoBJJ

Zibanejad is having a playoff for the ages. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a>

🗽NYR73🗽 @NYR73

Zibanejad Is absolutely on fire 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a>

Professor G @ProfMAGnetManNY

Zibanejad has been sensational this playoff season. I would say he’s been NYR best player outside of Igor.

Robbie Fox @RobbieBarstool

Mika. Zibanejad. Unconscious. Point. Machine. <a href="https://t.co/5ihyj0qcIC">https://t.co/5ihyj0qcIC</a>

Zibanejad now has nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 16 playoff games. If the Rangers make, and win, the Stanley Cup Final, he has a real case to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the postseason.

Blueshirts netminder Igor Shesterkin has also been equally as important to the Rangers' playoff run, though Zibanejad has been a wrecking ball offensively and it has paid off for New York.

Game 3 between the Rangers and Lightning is set for Sunday afternoon, and the Blueshirts will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead .