Artemi Panarin led the way for the Rangers, scoring two goals and notching three assists, in a 6-2 win over the Islanders at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
The first matchup of the season between the bitter rivals got off to a wild start, as Jordan Eberle got the Islanders on the board on the very first shift of the night, corralling a loose puck and showing great patience to find the net just 18 seconds into the contest.
Just two minutes later, it briefly turned into Fight Night at The Garden. Ross Johnston and Micheal Haley -- each team's resident tough guys -- dropped the gloves at 2:13 of the first. Before the puck could be dropped for the ensuing faceoff, Matt Martin and Brendan Smith also fought, resulting in game misconducts for both players in addition to the fighting majors.
With the undercard out of the way, it was all Panarin the rest of the night. He picked up the primary assist on goals from Jesper Fast and Chris Kreider, before adding a secondary assist on Adam Fox's second-period goal to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Panarin opened up the third period with a goal of his own just 49 seconds into the frame, then picked up another one at the 8:54 mark.
BREAD ON THE LOOSE. pic.twitter.com/qeqAIpqi57- New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 14, 2020
Now with 67 points, the first-year Ranger is on pace to soar past his previous career high of 87, which he achieved last season as a member of the Blue Jackets.