Mika Zibanejad tied an NHL record with six points -- including three goals -- in one period, and the New York Rangers, without their full-time coaching staff, trounced the Philadelphia Flyers9-0 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
It was the franchise's largest margin of victory since 1986, and it came without its entire coaching staff behind the bench because of COVID-19 protocols.
The team's AHL head coach, Kris Knoblauch, filled in for Rangers head coach David Quinn, while associate general manager Chris Drury and Hartford Wolf Pack associate head coach Gord Murphy also manned the Rangers' bench, replacing Jacques Martin, David Oliver and Greg Brown. Knoblauch, in fact, faced his former team. He was an assistant coach for the Flyers from 2017 to '19.
It has been an eventful season for the Rangers. New York's star forward, Artemi Panarin, just returned after a two-week personal leave following what the team says are politically motivated but unsubstantiated assault charges from his former coach in Russia. Last month, the Rangers also waived -- and are still trying to trade -- defenseman Tony DeAngelo after he got into a physical altercation with teammates after a game.
Despite the win, the Rangers still have a few hills to climb to be considered a threat to make the playoffs. They are 12-12-4 but in sixth place in the East Division, four points behind the Boston Bruins, who are in the fourth and final postseason spot in the East Division.
Zibanejad, who has largely struggled this season after scoring 41 goals in the shortened season last year, has been prone to stunningly big games in his career. Last March, he scored five goals, including the winner in overtime, in a 6-5 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Zibanejad became the second player in NHL history to register six points in a period, joining Bryan Trottier, who accomplished the feat in 1978 for the New York Islanders against the Rangers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
No coaches, no problem: Record night from Mika Zibanejad highlights New York Rangers' 9-0 victory without regular staff behind bench