Zibanejad scores 2, Rangers beat Lightning 3-1 in home opener

Zibanejad scores 2, Rangers beat Lightning 3-1 in home opener

NEW YORK (AP) — Mika Zibanejad helped the New York Rangers get the new season off to a winning start.

Zibanejad scored twice, including a tiebreaking power-play goal in the third period, and the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 Tuesday night.

Barclay Goodrow also scored and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin stopped 26 shots to help the Rangers start the season with a win against the Lightning team that eliminated them from Eastern Conference final in June.

“The way we played tonight is a lot how we want to play — to trust ourselves and trust the system.,” Zibanejad said. “We did a good job tonight and we have to keep doing that.”

Zibanejad, who scored a short-handed goal early in the second period, gave New York a 2-1 lead at 5:11 of the third with a slap shot from the left circle off a pass from Artemi Panarin, who got his 250th point with the Rangers.

“Obviously, it’s nice to see the puck go in, not just to get the win but the way we won,” Zibanejad said.

New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) skates toward the puck during the second period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)