Artemi Panarin appears to be forcing the connection with Patrick Kane


March 4, 2023 | 11:10 p.m.

BOSTON — Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane look like two players who haven’t played side by side in six years.

It’s because, well, they didn’t. Never mind that the two dynamic Rangers wingers used to skate a line together, even though they were one of the most special pairings the NHL has ever seen.

They’ve both evolved since they were last teammates, at Chicago from 2015 to 2017.

With Rangers, Panarin and Kane had just two games – and no training – to get used to each other.

“They’re trying too hard to force play in the middle of the ice and there are too many turnovers,” head coach Gerard Gallant said of Panarin and Kane after the Rangers’ 4-2 loss to the Bruins on Saturday after -noon at TD. Garden. “There’s chemistry there, but they have to make sure we make good plays. There are too many times we try that long pass, east-west in the offensive zone. They also know our players. They’ll choose that and then they’ll go the other way.

Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane
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“They’ll pull themselves together, but it wasn’t good. There have been too many turnovers, not just by them, but by a lot of guys.

The anticipation of seeing Panarin and Kane skating together again caused early disappointment. Panarin, who was a turnover machine on Saturday, seems to be deferring to Kane instead of looking for the right play. On the other hand, Kane is just getting his feet wet.

It’s a similar situation for the Rangers power play. There are so many moving parts after having had no movement for most of the season.

The second unit scored the Rangers’ only power-play goal on three occasions, but the Bruins spent far too long in their offensive zone when the visitors skated a man.

Artemi Panarin won the Calder Trophy while playing on a line with Patrick Kane in Chicago.

Despite scoring power-play goals in four of their last five games, including one from Alexis Lafrenière on Thursday, the Rangers haven’t come close to unleashing the full potential of their power-play-loaded units.

“It needs a long time to gel,” Gallant said of the Rangers power play. “A few guys in different positions and different setups, so we’ll be working with them. We have time this week and that’s the good part. There are a lot of good players and it’s going to be a good power play, but it has to work. »

With Ryan Lindgren still nursing an upper-body injury, K’Andre Miller serving the final game of his three-game suspension and Tyler Motte out with a suspected head injury, Rangers skated to two men on Saturday against the bruins.

Miller, who was suspended for the game-long spitting penalty he earned against the Kings, will join the Rangers roster Thursday in Montreal.

The Rangers are also expected to get an emergency recall ahead of this game against the Canadiens, but only one player who carries a cap under $850,000.

The Rangers, who will have six active defensemen when Miller returns, could bring in Jonny Brodzinski, Ryan Carpenter or Will Cuylle.

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