Artemi Panarin gets first career hat trick in Blackhawks win over the Rangers
NEW YORK – The “Bread Man” has delivered a number of times during his travels in the NHL during his first season.
But he never had as productive of a run as he had in his first trip to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
In perhaps his finest game of his still young NHL career, Artemi Panarin had his first career hat trick which helped the Blackhawks rally for a 5-3 win over the Rangers in New York.
He scored three goals including the game-winner and the game clincher late in the third period to give the Blackhawks their second-straight victory. With the triumph the Blackhawks are now back on top of the Central Division with 81 points, one ahead of the Dallas Stars.
Panarin, the leading contender for the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year, now has 22 goals and 57 points on the season. The point total is second on the team behind Patrick Kane who has 83 points.
The first tally for the rookie came in the second period on the power play as he fired a wrist shot from the left point past Henrik Lundqvist to put the Blackhawks up 2-0. New York then made their run as they scored three unanswered goals in the second and third period.
Dan Boyle’s goal 2:17 into the third period gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead but the Hawks got it back to even on an Andrew Shaw with 10:07 to go.
Then it was Panarin’s turn to grab the game. Once again on the power play the “Bread Man” got his chance as he took a pass in front of the net from Kane and put the shot in the back of the net to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 lead. Some hustle got Panarin the hat trick with just over a minute to go as he beat out the Rangers defense to a puck in the New York zone and put it in the empty net to seal the victory.
Right after scoring the goal Panarin was tripped by Keith Yandle and flew into the boards. But the rookie got up and was smiling. He had a lot of reasons to do so on this night and in this season which he’s looked more like a veteran than a rookie.