Artemi Panarin had at least one point in each of the Rangers’ first five games this season, marking the best start of his eight-year NHL career.
His five-game streak is the longest of its kind by a Ranger since the start of Brad Richards’ 2011-12 season. Panarin’s 11 points (three goals and eight assists) also tied a Rangers record, set by Rod Gilbert in 1971-72, for the most in five games in a season.
Only four Rangers in the last 20 years have posted a longer streak of consecutive games with a point. Marion Gaborik has played eight straight one-point games in 2009-10. In 2006-07, Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Michael Nylander all scored points in six straight games.
Yet, as is often the case with star players, shortcomings are easier to notice.
Panarin has had three uncontested breakaways this season, none of which resulted in a goal. On the first, which came in the second period against the Lightning in the season opener, star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy made the save. The second was a jack-in-the-box play outside the penalty area, which Panarin missed, in the first period against the Jets three nights later.
And in the first period against the Ducks on Monday, Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin sent a superb pass from the top end to Spring Panarin, who failed to convert.
Considering the pace he is at, Panarin has a real chance of scoring 100 points for the first time in his career. He posted a career-high 96 points last season, with 22 goals and 74 assists, six short of the franchise record.
If Panarin can get a few of those breakaways into the back of the net, his confidence will likely skyrocket, as will his point total.
New York Post