For the second time in four days, an NHL player has broken his fibula.
Four days later, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad went hard into the end boards during the overtime period of Sunday night’s shootout loss to the Panthers (Streamable link of injury). As Zibanejad, who scored one of the Rangers goals in the third period, chased Panthers winger Reilly Smith around the Rangers net, his left skate became tangled with Smith’s feet and he crashed foot-first into the boards. He was down for several moments before being helped off the ice.
According to Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault, Zibanejad will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken fibula. The Rangers will not make any roster moves before Monday night’s game versus the Penguins, but Vigneault isn’t ruling out a call-up in the future. Oscar Lindberg was a healthy scratch against the Panthers, and will likely draw in against Pittsburgh. Lindberg has just one assist in seven games this season after scoring 28 points in 68 games last season. Vigneault is confident that “whoever [he] decide[s] to put in that spot will do the job for us.”
Zibanejad has been a good addition to the Rangers, who are sitting third in the NHL standings. He was acquired in a July trade with the Ottawa Senators that saw Derick Brassard and a 7th round pick sent away for Zibanejad and a 2nd round pick. While Brassard has just two goals and seven points in 18 games, Zibanejad has acclimated nicely to New York and has 15 points in 19 games.