Rangers’ Artemi Panarin continues strongest scoring start of career

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Artemi Panarin has at least one point in each of the Rangers’ first five games this season, marking the strongest start of his eight-year NHL career.

His five-game streak is the longest of its kind by a Ranger since Brad Richards’ hot start to the 2011-12 season. Panarin’s 11 points (three goals and eight assists) also matched a Rangers record, set by Rod Gilbert in 1971-72, for the highest total through five games of a season.

Just four Rangers in the past 20 years have posted a longer run of consecutive games with a point. Marion Gaborik went eight straight games with a point in 2009-10. In 2006-07, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Michael Nylander all posted points in six straight games.

Still, as is common with star players, the shortcomings are easier to notice.

Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers skates against the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2022 in New York City. The Sharks defeated the Rangers 3-2 in overtime.
Artemi Panarin has accrued at least one point in every game since the start of the NHL season.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Panarin has had three uncontested breakaways this season, and none resulted in a goal. On the first, which came in the second period against the Lightning in the season opener,  star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made the save. The second was a jack-in-the-box play out of the penalty box, which Panarin missed, in the first period against the Jets three night later.

And in the first period against the Ducks on Monday, Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin sent an amazing leading pass to spring Panarin, who couldn’t convert.

Considering the pace he’s on, Panarin has a genuine chance to crack 100 points for the first time in his career. He posted a career-high 96 points last season, with 22 goals and 74 assists, which was six shy of the franchise record.

If Panarin can get a few of those breakaways to end up in the back of the net, his confidence likely will soar, as will his point total.

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