Artemi Panarin looks to be forcing connection with Patrick Kane


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

That’s because, well, they don’t. It hardly matters that the two dynamic wings of the Rangers have a history skating together on a line – even if they made one of the most special duos the NHL has ever seen.

They’ve both evolved since the last time they were teammates, in Chicago from 2015-17.

With the Rangers, Panarin and Kane have only had two games – and no practices – to get used to each other.

“They try to force the game too much to the center of the ice and there are too many substitutions,” head coach Gerard Gallant said of Panarin and Kane after the Rangers’ 4-2 loss to the Bruins on Saturday afternoon on TD. Garden. “There’s chemistry there, but they have to make sure we make strong plays. Too often we try that long pass, east-west in the attacking zone. They know our players too. They’re going to pick that and then they’re going to other side.

Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane
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“They’ll figure it out, but it wasn’t good. There were too many turnovers, not just by them, but by a lot of guys.

The anticipation of seeing Panarin and Kane skate together again has led the two to an early disappointment. Panarin, who was a turnover machine on Saturday, seems to be taking it off to Kane instead of looking for the right game. On the other hand, Kane just gets wet feet.

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

The second unit scored the Rangers’ lone power play goal in three chances, but the Bruins spent way too much time in their offensive zone as the visitors skated up a man.

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

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

“It takes a long time to whine,” Gallant said of the Rangers’ power play. “A couple of guys in different positions and different set-ups, so we’re going to work with that. We have some time this week and that’s the beauty of it. There are a lot of good players on it and it will be a good power play, but you have to get it working.”

With Ryan Lindgren still with an upper body injury, K’Andre Miller serving the last game of his three-game suspension and Tyler Motte out with a suspected head injury, the Rangers skated two-man short Saturday against the Bruins.

Miller, who was suspended for the spitting penalty he deserved against the Kings, will be able to rejoin the Rangers’ lineup in Montreal on Thursday.

The Rangers should also get an emergency recall prior to that game against the Canadiens, but only a player with a cap of less than $850,000.

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

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