Artemi Panarin will be looking to make some history Sunday night at the Garden, with a chance to match a franchise record that has stood for more than a half-century.
The rolling winger has notched at least one point in each of the Rangers’ first 13 games this season, and he can tie Hall of Fame forward Rod Gilbert’s team mark of 14 from 1972-73 with at least one goal or an assist Sunday against the Blue Jackets.
“When you coach against him, you know he’s a good player, you know he’s dynamic, you know he can create,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said after practice Saturday in Tarrytown. “But then I think when you work with him on a daily basis, you really see how gifted he is and what he’s able to do on the ice and how he finds space and time out there to make plays.
“It’s an elite level.”
Panarin, the Rangers’ highest-paid player with a salary-cap hit of $11.6 million, has totaled eight goals and 14 assists during the Blueshirts’ 10-2-1 start.
His 22 points were the third-highest total in the league entering Saturday’s league action, behind just Elias Pettersson of the Canucks (7-17-24) and Nikita Kucherov of the Lighting (11-12-23).
“He’s just a really unbelievable player,” linemate Alexis Lafreniere said after Thursday’s 4-1 win over the Wild at MSG. “For me, it’s just trying to make plays for him, and obviously when he has the puck, trying to get open, because usually he finds you.
“I’m just trying to stay ready, and like I’ve said, it’s been really fun.”
Lafreniere, the first-overall pick in the 2020 draft, posted the first three-point game in his three seasons with the Rangers with a goal and two assists against the Wild.
He converted a 2-on-1 feed from Panarin for the go-ahead goal early in the third period.
“I tried to skate as fast as I can, and Bread made a really nice play,” added Lafreniere, who notched his 100th career point in the game. “I didn’t have to do much on it.”
Panarin and Lafreniere have been centered the past three games by Vincent Trocheck, who was bumped up from the third line with Filip Chytil sidelined by an upper-body injury.
Chytil did not skate Saturday, and he remains day-to-day, according to Laviolette.
But Trocheck has filled in capably, potting three goals with three assists in his past three appearances, including his first three-point game of the season Thursday night.
He opened the scoring in the first period and added two assists in the third while winning 61.5 percent (8-for-13) of his faceoffs.
The 32-year-old Panarin assisted on Lafreniere’s goal and scored an empty-netter with 1:21 remaining.
His scoring streak also matches the longest of his nine-year NHL career, and the fifth-longest overall in the NHL since 1993-94.
Patrick Kane registered a 26-game point streak for the Blackhawks — with Panarin as a rookie teammate — in 2015-16.
After two seasons in Chicago, Panarin spent two years in Columbus before signing a seven-year contract worth $81.5 million with the Rangers in 2019.
The three-time All-Star also had been the previous Rangers player to post a point streak of 13 games when he did it late in the 2019-20 regular season en route to a 95-point debut season (32-63) in New York.