These are words Mika Zibanejad is going to live with, for good or for bad, or as long as he is a Ranger. He will forever be linked to Derick Brassard, for whom he was traded this summer, as “Big Game Brass” was sent north to his hometown Senators.

So before Zibanejad’s first postseason with the Blueshirts had started, he said this:

“Of course I am aware of what [Brassard] did in the playoffs, but they didn’t bring me here to be the next Brass,” Zibanejad said April 7.

Those words hung in the air as Zibanejad struggled mightily through the first three games of the first-round series against the Canadiens. But he finally took a step in the right direction, playing his best postseason game in a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Tuesday night at the Garden, knotting the best-of-seven series at two games apiece going into Game 5 in Montreal on Thursday.

Oh, and it also happened to be his 24th birthday.