It has been more than two weeks since Artemi Panarin took leave of the Rangers after an article was published in Russia in which a former KHL coach of his accused Panarin of beating a woman after a game in Latvia in 2011. Rangers coach David Quinn had no update on when Panarin might return to the team.
"We've continually talked with him,’’ Quinn said. "He's not here right now, so maybe things will change tomorrow. We'll know more tomorrow.’’
Panarin missed his eighth game Tuesday. He last played Feb. 20 and had two assists in the Rangers’ 4-1 win over Washington. He led the Rangers in scoring at the time he left, with 18 points, on five goals and 13 assists. Pavel Buchnevich overtook Panarin Sunday when he had an assist to give him 19 points on the season.
The Rangers killed the only Penguins power play of the game and have killed 14 straight over a seven-game span and 51 of 54 over the last 17 games… Goaltender Igor Shesterkin missed his third game with a groin injury suffered late in the 6-1 win over the Devils on Thursday. Shesterkin did skate Tuesday morning, however, so he should be back soon. Keith Kinkaid started Tuesday’s game, with Alexandar Georgiev backing him up… Quinn made two lineup changes, inserting D Jack Johnson for Libor Hajek, and scratching LW Brendan Lemieux and putting Colin Blackwell back in. Johnson, the former Penguin, scored his first goal as a Ranger, to give them a 1-0 lead at 9:16 of the first period… Rangers prospect Vitali Kravtsov could soon be on the way to New York, as his Traktor Chelyabinsk team is nearing elimination from the KHL playoffs. Salavat Yulaev shut out Traktor, 3-0, Tuesday to take a 3-1 lead in the teams’ best-of-seven, first round series and push Traktor to the brink. It was the second straight shutout for Salavat. Game 5 will be Thursday. Kravtsov is supposed to join the Rangers after his season is over.