Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin remind us how good they can be

In the first minute of extra time, Artemi Panarin sped down the right flank and there Adam Fox filled the middle in a strange onslaught while trying to keep up with the explosive Russian.

“When I saw the two-for-one opportunity there, I got some momentum, especially at Bread,” Fox said after taking Panarin’s chuck to knock John Gibson out of the slot at 0:55 OT to do that admit Blueshirts a 4-3 win over the Ducks on Tuesday in the garden. “I said I’m playing [against] those two-on-ones in practice a few times too often, so I tried to do what the strikers do against me.

The win, coming from a 3-2 deficit midway through game three, put Rangers in second place on percentage points ahead of the Penguins. Two points is their own reward for trying to win Rangers’ first playoff call-up since 2017.

But what stood out about this one – including Chris Kreider’s league-leading 20th power play goal ending the score at 1:40 p.m. of third – were the performances of Fox and Panarin, marquee athletes who have been just a bit ordinary in recent weeks.

Oh, and can we add the authoritative performance of Filip Chytil, whose second strong performance in a row will be good for both 72 himself and his team, who have been looking for a third line that could pose a threat for most of the season could?

Rangers’ resourcefulness is an admirable trait. They’re an undeniably impressive 38-17-5, but perhaps just as commendable is the 8-4-1 record set since the winter solstice, despite premium players Fox and Panarin not being at their best.

Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox
Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox
Getty Images; AP

Fox’s season hit a low point on March 10 in St. Louis when he scored four goals on equal terms and lost four demerits in a 6-2 loss, each unparalleled in his three-year textbook career. However, this match seemed to be the (un)logical conclusion up to a stretch where Fox appeared tired.

The upswing started in Dallas on Saturday. At the end of this one, last Thursday was a distant memory. fox jumped. Fox, whose assists on the second and third goals brought his total to 52, was ice time himself by 24:27.

“Foxy, he was really good tonight. He got back into his game and felt pretty good out there,” said head coach Gerard Gallant. “You could really see the difference in him.”

There is an awareness of Fox that extends beyond the 200×85 foot ice sheet. Still only 24 years old, still a veteran of less than 200 NHL games, the Long Island boy put himself into perspective last Thursday after more than 1,200 games as if he were Brian Leetch.

“It’s a long season, you look around the league and there are star players that are down four, down five some nights,” Fox said. “Things like that just happen.

“Of course you don’t want to scare off your team and stand on the ice against goals, we are competitors and don’t want to hurt the team so much. They want to come back strong. You’re just trying to have a short memory and go back to the way we can play.”

Panarin, who had three assists to take his total to 55, has amassed a dozen (1-11) points in his last four games. That speaks to the winger’s ability to stitch gold out of straw. Still, he wasn’t as spot on as he was in the first two years in New York. He wasn’t at the top of his imposing game. This was a start, although Panarin refused to delve into deep self-examination.

“Not bad. It’s hard to talk about myself,” Panarin said through an interpreter when asked to rate his game. “But the team won, so I won’t beat myself up for my mistakes.”

Chytil, on the other hand, has had an inferior season. But in that game there was bounce and freshness in his game, just like there was in Dallas on Saturday. No. 72 played hard passes on the approaches like he was a dispatcher and his feed set up Jonny Brodzinksi for the 1-0 goal early in the game. The 22-year-old Czech also shot into the net.

“I really liked his game,” Gallant said. “We talked about it after the Dallas game, I thought that was his best game of the year and tonight he looked very confident again. That will be a real key for us.”

The impressive power play brought the compensation late. Alexandar Georgiev put in a solid performance as he recorded his first win since January 5th. Fox and Panarin were Fox and Panarin. Good night on Broadway. Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin remind us how good they can be


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