Artemi Panarin passed Mark Messier for the most points by a player in his first 100 games as a Ranger with a goal in Tuesday’s win in Newark that wouldn’t have happened without Filip Chytil.
Less than halfway through the third period, Panarin and Chytil found themselves on the ice at the same time after an incomplete line change. Chytil received a pass at the goal line to the right of the Devils’ net and controlled it with his skate before finding Panarin across the zone in the left faceoff circle for the one-timer.
Not only did the goal give the Rangers a 2-0 lead, but it gave a glimpse into the potential chemistry that Chytil and Panarin could have on a line together. The two haven’t started on a line together this season, with Ryan Strome owning the center spot next to Panarin, but it should be an option head coach David Quinn considers with 14 games left in the regular season.
The 21-year-old Chytil hasn’t had a head-turning season since he was drafted No. 21-overall by the Rangers in 2017, but the organization has maintained that they believe he’s capable of one. Considering Chytil has played on the third line next to fellow young-ins like Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Julien Gauthier and Vitali Kravtsov, he hasn’t had a chance to see what he can do next to matured talent like Panarin.
“Well he’s a special player,” Quinn said of Panarin Tuesday. “Everybody watches it and at key times, he makes key plays and there are not a lot of players in this league that can do what he does and he’s got an incredible hockey IQ, he’s got a great hockey strength, that’s something that I talk about a lot with him. People don’t really recognize how hockey strong he is.”
That may be the kind of player who can unlock Chytil’s full potential. If Strome isn’t in the long-term plans and Chytil is, the Rangers could utilize the remainder of the season to test out the Panarin-Chytil partnership. Allowing those two to become familiar with one another and learn each other’s tendencies may benefit the team in the long run.
After Tuesday’s win over the Devils, Rangers are scheduled to play three more in a row games against New Jersey. The span from April 13 to April 18 counts as the most consecutive team games against one opponent in franchise history.
The Rangers are set to play 17 straight games in the tri-state area between April 6 and May 5, with 11 games at the Garden, four against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum and two against the Devils in Newark. The span in the New York Metropolitan Area counts as the most the Rangers have had in franchise history. The previous record of consecutive games the Rangers have played in the area is 12, which occurred during the 1991-92 season.
Dating back to their loss on March 11 in Boston, the Blueshirts have posted a 7-1-0 record in the game following a loss. The team has been trading wins and losses for the last seven games.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]