Zibanejad hat trick powers Rangers past Lightning without Panarin

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Mika Zibanejad had a hat trick and Igor Shesterkin made 38 saves for the New York Rangers in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Ryan Strome scored, Chris Kreider had three assists and Adam Fox two to help Rangers (21-8-4) sweep a home-and-home series. 

New York played without Artemi Panarin after the forward was placed in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 17 saves for the Lightning (21-8-5) in his return after being in protocol for three games.

Zibanejad made it 1-0 with a power-play goal at 7:44 of the first period, a wrist shot from inside the left circle that beat Vasilevskiy to the near post. He extended the Rangers lead to 2-0 at 12:37 with his second goal on the man-advantage after he threw the puck toward the net and it deflected off Ryan McDonagh‘s stick and past Vasilevskiy.

Strome made it 3-0 at 14:53 when he scored from the high slot off an assist by Barclay Goodrow.

Zibanejad’s third goal put New York ahead 4-0 at 16:53 of the second when he tipped in the puck off a shot from Kreider. The center has eight NHL hat tricks, seven with the Rangers. 

Shesterkin earned his second shutout of the season. He made 25 saves in a 4-3 shootout win at Tampa Bay on Dec. 31.

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