Derek Stepan had gone the entire first month of the season without a goal. The elusive first goal came in Saturday nights win against the Carolina Hurricanes and then some.
Stepan recored his second career hat trick as the New York Rangers won the game, 5-1. The first hat trick came in his first career NHL game in 2010.
Carl Hagelin also got his first goal of the season as he netted two goals in the win. The Rangers got off to a sluggish start until Hagelin threw a backhander in for the first goal. Hagelin then came right out of the penalty box and beat Justin Peters for his second goal to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
The Stepan show commenced as he scored three-straight to pad the Rangers lead to 5-1. Stepan’s first goal was a power-play goal on a rebound. The second was a thing of beauty between Stepan, Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. Kreider stole the puck and dished it to Zuccarello behind the net. Zuccarello made a slick behind the back pass to Stepan who roofed one top shelf. The third goal was a lucky bounce that went off a defenseman’s stick and into the net.
If the Rangers can get Stepan going it would be huge. He was leading the team with 7 assists but was having a real tough time finishing. You could see how relaxed he got after his first went in and he just kept going from there. Stepan was the Rangers leading scorer last year and is the teams best center. He is still so young but is by far one of the best players on the Rangers.
The Rangers are finally starting to play well, as is Stepan. If he can continue to score there is no telling what the Rangers will be able to accomplish.