Artemi Panarin tallies hat trick to help Rangers beat NHL-best Bruins 5-2

BOSTON (AP) — Artemi Panarin only needed to beat the goalie once to tally his third hat trick of the season.

The Rangers forward gave New York a 1-0 lead on a wrist shot he threaded through the legs of a Boston defender and goalie Jeremy Swayman. After the Bruins tied it, Panarin got credit for his second goal when Boston's Jake DeBrusk knocked the puck into his own net.

“It’s a nice feeling, obviously, when you get that goal. But I was pretty honest, for my part: I tried try to pass,” said Panarin, who completed his seventh career hat trick with an empty-net goal.

“I got it on my side tonight,” he said with a sheepish smile, “and thank you.”

Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots to help the Rangers beat NHL-best Boston for the third time in as many tries this season. It was his 391st career victory, tying Ryan Miller for the most by an American goalie.

“Unreal guy. So glad he’s on our team,” defenseman Braden Schneider said. “Legend. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s an amazing player and an amazing person.”

The Rangers now have 96 points to lead the Metropolitan Division and close within one point of Boston, the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners, for the best record in the NHL.

“They were No. 1 in the league coming into this game. And to come here and get two points is massive,” Schneider said. “Obviously, we know where we’re at. And coming into this game, it means a little bit more when we know we’re right behind them. You go game by game, but you really get up for these ones because they’re important.”

Adam Fox also scored for New York, which has won six of its last eight. Mika Zibanejad added an empty-net goal with two minutes left, and Panarin added his career-high 41st goal of the season a minute later with Swayman still off for an extra skater.

DeBrusk and Justin Brazeau scored for Boston, and Swayman made 26 saves. The Bruins lost for just the second time in seven games.

The Bruins led 1-0 when Panarin scored through the legs of defender Pavel Zacha and Swayman with eight minutes to play in the second period. Panarin tallied his second when he tried to cross the puck, but DeBrusk dove onto the ice to block the passing lane but instead deflected it into the goal.

Brazeau tied it for Boston, cleaning up a puck that snuck behind Quick on Marchand’s shot. But just 40 seconds later, Fox wristed a bullet into the top shelf to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.


Rangers: Host Florida on Saturday night.

Bruins: Visit Philadelphia on Saturday.