Artemi Panarin has gone 12 straight games without scoring after failing to score in Rangers’ stunning 4-3 loss to the tumbling Oilers on Saturday afternoon at the Garden. The 12 games tied the longest goal gap in the Russian wing’s NHL career.
However, Game 12 probably hurt more than the previous 11 considering Panarin thought he had scored twice.
Panarin had one of his more active games of the season, at least two of the three thirds. In addition to assisting Chris Kreider’s second-half tally, Panarin also scored two shots on target and a takeaway. Both shots came in the first third.
The first came down to a power play. Panarin cabled one home from the faceoff right circle and had a look of relief on his face. But Edmonton challenged offside and the goal was nullified after the replay revealed Panarin never fully crossed the puck into the offensive zone before Vincent Trocheck stepped in.
“Yes, especially if I can’t score the last goal  Games,” Panarin said when asked if he was frustrated. “Post or something, always something. Just keep doing what I usually do. Try not to lose faith. That’s the most important.”
Braden Schneider also had a goal disallowed after the Oilers were challenged for goalie interference, which proved to be the case when replays showed Ryan Carpenter making contact with Oilers goalie Jack Campbell in the blue crease.
Panarin later hit a one-timer from the other faceoff circle and Campbell slid over to get in front of it just in time. It was unclear if the puck went in or not, so the umpires put on the situational space headphones to watch it again before it was officially ruled a no-goal.
Panarin ran on the top line right wing alongside Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, similar to how the Rangers lined up at the end of their 3-2 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday and again in practice on Friday. With that, Trocheck had to focus on Jimmy Vesey and Barclay Goodrow. The kid line of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko remained intact, while the fourth line included Sammy Blais, Ryan Carpenter and Julien Gauthier.
Vitali Kravtsov was scratched for the seventh consecutive time despite participating in Saturday afternoon’s warm-up exercises. Libor Hajek also replaced Zac Jones on the left side of the lower pair alongside Braden Schneider. Jones had played in their last three games and appeared poised to push through the lineup as Hajek had already done, but head coach Gerard Gallant opted for a change.
Rangers fell to 8-2-1 when they opened the scoring this season after giving up four unanswered goals in the third period.