Dive into the excitement as the Rangers fend off the San Jose Sharks 6-5. Artemi Panarin’s hat-trick stole the spotlight at a raucous MSG.
After Peter Laviolette’s lineup shakeup sparked a comeback win in Nashville, he decided to stick to what’s been working for the New York Rangers. However, Sunday night at Madison Square Garden was all about Artemi Panarin’s magic. He notched his fifth career hat trick, leading the league-best Blueshirts to a nail-biting 6-5 victory over the league-worst San Jose Sharks. The win was the franchise’s 3,000th regular-season victory, becoming the fourth team to reach that mark.
Panarin’s baking this season, leading the team with 15 goals and 35 points in the team’s impressive 18-4-1 start. “I go to the net twice in my life, and then both times it worked”, Panarin, who has scored nine of his fifteen from the slot, said. “Maybe I have to start listening to coaches.”
He’s on track to break his record of 32 goals in a season, set back in 2019-20, his first year with the Rangers. That said, the question about whether he’s worth his $11.6 million AAV won’t be answered until the playoffs, just as the doubts surrounding this New York team being the real deal.
As for Laviolette, he returned to the familiar combinations, with Chris Kreider rejoining Mika Zibanejad and Jonny Brodzinski stepping up on the first line for Blake Wheeler, who was on the third. The breadman found his groove with Vincent Trocheck again, and Wheeler teamed up with Nick Bonino and Will Cuylle. While offensively, things worked, the team left what to be desired defensively.