New York Rangers need more from Artemi Panarin at even strength

artemi panarin new york rangers
Jun 7, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) controls the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second period in game four of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Artemi Panarin had a rough go against the Carolina Hurricanes in Round Two. In 7 Games he notched 1 goal and 3 assists with all but one helper on the power play. The Canes made it a point to not give the New York Rangers most gifted offensive player much time and space.

Through 5 games against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Panarin has been statistically better with 2 goals and 3 assists. Once again, only one assist has come at even strength. However, in Game 4 the Bolts made it a point to keep him to the outside and force bad basses for turnovers.

For these playoffs, the Breadman has 6 goals and 16 points in 18 games. But that’s mostly damage done on the man advantage. When the sides are even he has 3 goals and 4 assists. Furthermore, only 4 of those points (all assists) have come with the game tied or close.

Artemi Panarin needs to get hungrier

artemi panarin
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After the Blueshirts 4-1 loss to even the series at two games apiece, Panarin kept a positive attitude.

“I think that makes us hungrier and angrier,” he said via NY Post’s Mollie Walker. “Sometimes that’s good when you [lose]. Probably how we react about that and I don’t think we lost our confidence. Just be more hungry next game.”

The Rangers do need to find another level of desperation and Number 10 must lead the way.

Playing without Ryan Strome, the center he’s lined up with most since joining the Rangers three seasons ago obviously isn’t helping. There’s also no guarantee that he’ll be able to play in Game 5. That means Panarin, along with Andrew Copp and Barclay Goodrow will need to work together to find another gear.

“They better be calm but they better be ready to play harder,” Gerard Gallant said. “Now it’s a two out of three with home ice but we have to play better. We didn’t block enough shots or finish enough hits. Those are the good things that wins hockey game. We didn’t pay the price.”

Panarin isn’t the only player that needs to pay the price, but his outside perimeter game isn’t working. He leads all Blueshirts with 39 giveaways this postseason and needs to tighten that up.

“It’s not easy, but we can’t be sad,” Panarin said. “For sure it’s not going to help us. Try to be positive. We have to be positive. We’ve been in a worse spot before, so we’re OK. I hope we do well in [Madison Square] Garden. Our fans, nice to see again. Try to do something more.”

Artemi needs to find a way to work himself into the slot area. That will open things up for him and his linemates which could be the difference maker in Game 5 at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

New York Rangers Playoff Schedule: ECF vs Tampa Bay Lightning

GM 1: Rangers 6-28PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
GM 2: Rangers 3-28PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
GM 3: Lightning 3-23PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
GM 4: Lightning 4-18PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
GM 5: Thursday, 6/9 @NYR8PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
GM 6: Saturday, 6/11 @TB8PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
GM 7: Tuesday, 6/14 @NYR*8PM ET(ESPN, CBC, SN, TVAS)
*If necessary

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore