New York Rangers ace Artemi Panarin recorded his fifth assist of the new season on Friday
Russian-born NHL star Artemi Panarin has become the first New York Rangers player to level a longstanding record, by becoming the first player to record five assists in the first three games of the seasons since both Mark Messier and Brian Leitch achieved the same feat in the 1992-93 season.
It was a bittersweet moment on Friday for the 30-year-old forward, though, as his assist for Rangers teammate Dryden Hunt was the only goal his side were able to muster in what was a 4-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets at the Canada Life Center in Manitoba.
Panarin also has a single goal to his name in the young season, which means that, so far, the Russian international has six individual points so far in the new campaign, a total which puts him in first place in the player points table.
His hot start to the season now has him two points ahead of closest rivals Mika Zibanejb (also of the Rangers) and Martin Necas, who turns out for the Colorado Hurricanes.
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Panarin’s assist streak represents a return to form for the Korkino native. Three years ago he scored a career-best 32 goals in a single season to mark the third time in his first five years in the league that he had eclipsed the 30-goal mark.
However, his scoring has trailed off somewhat in the past two seasons, bagging just 39 goals combined in the past couple of campaigns in New York.
“It’s two pretty good players so I just tried to get open,” Rangers goalscorer Hunt said of teammates Panarin and Vincent Trocheck.
“When you get an opportunity like that, especially with coming into the lineup, you kind-of want to make the most of it.”
Panarin’s name will now be added to a rarefied list of the Rangers most creative players of the past few decades, where he stands in good company with the iconic forward Messier, a player considered by most to be among the finest players in NHL history.
The Russian star began his NHL career as an undrafted player after a successful stint in the KHL with the likes of Vityaz Chekhov and SKA Saint Petersburg.
He played two seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL before he signed a seven-year, $81.5 million contract with the New York Rangers in July 2019.
In January 2020 Panarin became the first Rangers player to score 60 points in his first 43 games, surpassing another of the sport’s legendary figures, Wayne Gretzky.
That same year he was announced as being on a three-man shortlist for the NHL’s Most Valuable Player alongside Nathan McKinnon and Leon Draisaitl.
https://ift.tt/R3KpgiP 15, 2022 at 04:25PM
from RT – Daily news