SUNRISE, Fla. – Rangers coach David Quinn can’t stop marveling about Artemi Panarin. And who can blame him?
Panarin had a goal and an assist in the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Panthers at the BB&T Center on Saturday night.
Panarin extended his career-high points streak to 11 games (five goals, 12 assists) and his assists streak to six games (eight assists) while skating a career-high 27:57.
“Listen, he’s a dynamic player,” Quinn said of Panarin, who leads the Rangers in goals (nine), assists (14) and points (23). “I thought he was really good tonight. I thought every time he had the puck something good was about to happen. I thought that line was good.”
With the Rangers off until Wednesday, Quinn pushed his top three lines in the fast-paced game. Ryan Strome (goal, assist) also played a career-high 27:57.
“There was a rhythm, I thought, with those three lines,” Quinn said. “That’s why we did what we did. I thought that all three lines were doing some good things and that’s the decision we made with three days off coming up. So I wasn’t worried about playing four lines.”
Since the NHL began to track ice time in 1997-98, Panarin and Strome are the first pair of Rangers forwards to play at least 27 minutes in a regulation game.
Quinn expressed confidence his team would rebound from what he called an “embarrassing” 9-3 loss at Tampa on Thursday and felt it did.
“I liked the turnaround compared to what we did in Tampa,” he said. “It was a complete 180. I thought we competed. I thought we skated. I thought we made some plays. We played hockey.”
Kaapo Kakko missed his second straight game with the flu . . . Defenseman Jacob Trouba, who left Thursday’s game in the second period with an upper-body injury, returned to the lineup and played 22:50.