Artemi Panarin blasts Hurricanes with 4 goals and 1 assist to lead Rangers
The Carolina Hurricanes were given a carbohydrate overload as Artemi Panarin exploded for four goals and an assist to lead the New York Rangers to a 6-2 victory on Saturday night.
Head coach Gerard Gallant was growing frustrated by the minute as the Canes pinned the Rangers in their own zone for much of the second period. It was late in the middle frame when he made one small tweak that led to a Breadman Bonanza.
Simply by switching his top two left wingers, Gallant set off a chain reaction the gave Panarin a shoot-first mentality playing with Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey.
“Four goals, first time in my life,” Panarin said. “If I knew how to explain that, I [would] explain. I don’t know what happened tonight, so it’s probably my day tonight. Everything [went] in. It’s a surprise. Sometimes when I feel something, it’s zero points.”NHL.com
Artemi Panarin blows away Hurricanes
Oh what a night for Artemi Panain. The Blueshirts’ leading scorer now has 59 points in 53 games this season as he helped his team to their fifth straight win. New York is also on a seven-game point streak (6-0-1).
In the process of his posting his first-ever four-goal game, Panarin also recorded his 200th career goal and finished the evening at 203.
“It’s great and everyone’s happy for him,” captain Jacob Trouba said with a smile. “He’s a huge part of our team and it’s nice when you can score four.”
Jaroslav Halak, who registered his seventh straight win by stopping 27 shots was also amazed with Panarin’s performance.
“He was due,” Halak said. “He’s been so great all year for us. A night like this for a goalie, when a team scores six goals it’s always nice to get two points.”
Mika Zibanejad got the Rangers on the board first with his team leading 27th goal of the season and 16th on power play. Panarin registered an assist on the play as part of his five point night. Chris Kreider picked up the other helper at the 13:37 mark of the opening frame.
Carolina then came at the Rangers like a buzzsaw for the majority of the second period. Teuvo Teravainen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored less than three-minutes apart to give the Canes a 2-1 lead leaving the Rangers struggling to make more than a single pass.
That’s when Gallant made the line tweak that spurred his team to victory.
Panarin knotted the game with 2:11 left off an odd man rush with Trocheck, who was victorious in his first game back to Carolina. Earlier in the night, a tribute video was played for the center.
“Coming back to Carolina for the first time against these guys got the emotions going,” Trocheck said.
Early in the final period, Panarin scored when a big rebound off a Braden Schneider shot found him in the slot. His quick hands beat Frederik Andersson for the eventual game-winning tally. Trocheck also assisted on the marker.
It was soon after that when Halak had to make big stop on Sebastian Aho’s breakaway to preserve the lead.
As the Canes pressed for the equalizer, it opened them to a quick counterstrike. That happened at the 15:59 mark when K’Andre Miller sent a puck out that Panarin chased down in the neutral zone converting on his breakaway chance.
Kaapo Kakko added an empty net goal with 2:14 left in the game. It was tallies in back-to-back matches for Kakko and a career-high 11 goals on the season. Alexis Lafreniere and Trouba notched assists.
Then with 64 second on the clock, Panarin added the cherry on top for the Blueshirts with a quick turnaround strike in slot. Jimmy Vesey picked up the assist, his second of the game.
“I loved our game. We played a really good team over there,” Gallant said. “We were stale… I just swapped Panarin for Kreider and it worked for Bread.”
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