Artemi Panarin knew he had played in his 100th game as a Ranger on Tuesday night, but he had no idea that his goal in the third period of the Rangers’ 3-0 win over the Devils actually put him in the team record book. The goal was his 138th point as a Ranger, making him the highest-scoring Ranger after 100 games with the club. Mark Messier had held the record with 137.
"I actually didn’t know about the points,’’ Panarin said through interpreter Nick Bobrov. "I always try to play 100%. I’m very thankful for my partners, who helped me get to this point.’’
"He’s a special player,’’ Rangers coach David Quinn said. "At key times, he makes key plays. There are not a lot of players in this league that could do what he does. and he’s got incredible hockey IQ, he’s got great hockey strength ... People don’t really recognize how hockey strong he is. He’s got strong hands.’’
Panarin said he’s never 100% happy with his accomplishments, though.
"Maybe I’m happy 99%, but you have to always keep in mind that perfection is never there,’’ he said. "Until we win the Stanley Cup, it’s not there.’’
Jones arrives, skates
After winning the NCAA hockey championship Saturday, defenseman Zac Jones, the Rangers’ third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, signed an entry-level contract with the club and drove down from Amherst, Massachusetts, in time to be able to skate at the team’s Tarrytown practice facility Tuesday morning. He did not play in Tuesday night’s game.
Jones, 20, made the all-tournament team after UMass defeated St. Cloud State, 5-0, in the final. A 5-11, 185-pound, left-handed shot, Jones, the No. 68 overall pick in 2019, had nine goals, 15 assists (24 points) in 29 games this season. He was second among NCAA defensemen in goals and third in points. In two seasons at UMass, he totaled 12 goals and 35 assists (47 points) in 61 games.
Quinn stayed with the same lineup for the fourth straight game, meaning forwards Julien Gauthier and Phillip DiGiuseppe and defenseman Anthony Bitetto were the healthy scratches.