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Rangers' Artemi Panarin working on shot, passing, conditioning

Artemi Panarin at Rangers practice on July 21,

Artemi Panarin at Rangers practice on July 21, 2020. Credit: NY Rangers/Nick Homler

Artemi Panarin said for the last two or three years, he has been working on some "technical aspects’’ of his game, finishing off shots and passes, as well as working on improving his cardiovascular shape.

"I’ve been trying to make my game more efficient, and smarter, without wasting a lot of energy,’’ he said, through translator Nick Bobrov. "It’s different when you run around a lot and get tired, and it could be very ineffective. I believe that a timely pass, or a goal, is probably better than [delivering] four unnecessary hits.’’

Panarin isn’t stressed out by the compressed, 56-game, intradivision-only format this season.

"Each season in the NHL is hard,’’ he said. "There are many even teams, great parity, [and it is] very hard to make the playoffs every year, no matter what the configuration of games or divisions would be. But I think we have a good team. We added some new players, and I think we will be very competitive in that sense.’’

Zibanejad remains out

Mika Zibanejad, Keith Kinkaid and Justin Richards were unavailable for the second straight day.

"We’re not sure when we’re going to have them,’’ coach David Quinn said, adding all three are "close.’’

In a weird way, not having Zibanejad actually may be a good thing for a couple of guys trying to establish roles for themselves. Third-year player Brett Howden, primarily a fourth-liner in his first two seasons, got to play in Zibanejad’s spot on the first line on Monday. On Tuesday, rookie Morgan Barron played there, between wingers Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich. Barron earned an assist on Kreider’s goal in the scrimmage.

"I think not having Mika gives a few guys an opportunity,’’ Quinn said. "Morgan’s a big kid who can skate… And I certainly took note of him when we were playing Cornell, when I was at BU.

"He’s got a chance to be a good player for us,’’ Quinn continued. "And when that is, who knows? We’re gonna find out. But I certainly like what I’ve seen so far.’’ … The blue team won the scrimmage, 2-0, on goals by Kreider and D Anthony Bitetto, both against G Adam Huska.

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