Mika Zibanejad thrilled after Rangers linemate Chris Kreider scores 20th goal
Chris Kreider scored his 20th goal of the season in the 700th game of his career to give the Rangers the early lead in their 4-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night at Madison Square Garden, and longtime linemate Mika Zibanejad couldn’t have been happier for him.
“It’s obviously fun to see him score,’’ Zibanejad said. “He might not think about it as much now, maybe when we’re a little bit older and we have a coffee and we talk about the days when we were teammates and were playing together.
“Obviously, it makes it more special for him that we win and he can contribute with a goal, so that’s super-happy and super-helpful.’’
Rookie Will Cuylle got to start in his first game at the Garden along with the rest of the fourth line (Jake Leschyshyn and Julien Gauthier).
“I think during the national anthem I was pretty — butterflies were going in my stomach,’’ said Cuylle, who made his NHL debut in his hometown of Toronto on Wednesday. “Obviously, it’s an amazing atmosphere here at Madison Square Garden. So it’s definitely a very cool experience.’’
Cuylle also got in his first NHL fight, going against Keegan Kolesar at the drop of the puck to start the second period. He said Kolesar asked him if he wanted to go, and he said yes.
The Rangers hosted Pride Night, and Andre Thomas, co-chair of NYC Pride, dropped the ceremonial first puck. The Rangers did not wear special jerseys or use the rainbow stick tape they have used in the past, but they did wear their Lady Liberty jerseys.
Hartford defenseman Zac Jones was added to the Atlantic Division squad for the AHL All-Star Game. Cuylle already had been selected to represent Hartford in the event before being called up to the Rangers on Tuesday.