NHL Recaps: Mika Zibanejad stars for Rangers, and Mark Stone lifts Knights in final minute

Oct 11, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) celebrates his second goal of the game against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Recaps:  October 11, 2022

Mika Zibanejad was the first star for the New York Rangers after scoring a short-handed goal, and then the power-play tiebreaker early in the third period, to lead his team to a 3-1 home victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

Mark Stone, coming off back surgery in the offseason, put the Vegas Golden Knights on his back in their season-opener at home. The Vegas captan scored in the final minute of regulation to beat the Los Angeles Kings.

It was Bruce Cassidy’s first win in Vegas as the new head coach.

“I think, for a coach, you’re always worried that when you don’t know your team that well,” Cassidy said. “It’s always to me a sign of good character in the room when a team’s resilient, so that’s a big plus for me no matter how the score turned out.”

NHL Recaps: Rangers 3 vs Lightning 1

Zibanejad opened the scoring with his second-period goal and Barclay Goodrow added a deflected insurance tally with nine minutes left in regulation to help the Rangers exact some revenge on Tampa Bay, which eliminated them in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.

The Lightning earned a power play in the second period, but appeared to get caught on a line change, allowing Zibanejad to grab a stretch pass from Jacob Trouba by the near board. He then skated in alone and flipped a backhander by Vasilevskiy just 3:25 into the middle frame.

Igor Shesterkin made 26 saves for New York, which has won four straight regular-season contests over the Lightning. While Vasilevskiy was stout for most of the night, Tampa Bay’s offense managed just 27 shots and only Steven Stamkos’ second-period strike on a 5 on 3 man advantage.

The Rangers failed on their first three power-play opportunities, but off a faceoff in a 1-1 contest, the puck made its way to Zibanejad inside the near circle for a one-timer past Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy (36 saves) 5:11 into the final period.

Rangers winger Vitali Kravtsov went to the locker room early in the first period after taking a hard hit from Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. He’s been listed as “day-to-day” with further evaluation scheduled for Wednesday.

“It’s what I expected,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said afterwards. “I knew the intensity would pick up from the preseason and I thought we played great.”

NHL Recaps: Golden Knights 4 vs Kings 3

nhl recaps mark stone
Oct 11, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates scoring the game winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Stone scored with 25.5 seconds remaining to give the visiting Vegas Golden Knights a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday in the season opener for both teams.

The game appeared headed to overtime until Alex Pietrangelo intercepted Sean Durzi’s pass in the neutral zone. He passed ahead to Chandler Stephenson, who broke in along the right boards and hit Stone with a pass in the right circle. Stone then fired a wrist shot past goalie Joanthan Quick’s blocker side and inside the far-left post for the winner.

“It sure looked like it,” Stone said when asked if he thought the Kings were going to run out the clock. “What was it, 45 seconds? That’s a long time to kill. But I’m glad they didn’t.”

NHL.com

William Karlsson tallied a goal and an assist and Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault scored goals for Vegas, which improved to 5-1-0 in season openers. Pietrangelo and Stephenson each added a pair of assists while Logan Thompson made 27 saves.

Gabriel Vilardi had a goal and an assist and Arthur Kaliyev and Adrian Kempe also scored for Los Angeles. Quick, making his 14th opening night start in the last 15 seasons for the Kings, finished with 47 saves.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article.