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Artemiy Panarin “Day-to-Day” With Lower-Body Injury

Panarin left Wednesday night’s game in Arizona during the second period, and did not return.

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Just as goaltender Igor Shesterkin appears fairly close to returning from his lower-body injury, another New York Rangers superstar is now sidelined. Artemiy Panarin left Wednesday night’s eventual 3-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes in the second period, and did not return. With a noticeable lack of any update until after the game, it was reasonable to fear a positive COVID-19 test, given the recent outbreaks across the league. Instead, head coach Gerard Gallant confirmed that the Bread Man suffered a lower-body injury of his own.

Thankfully, Gallant seems to think it’s not too serious, but time will tell. The Rangers play again Friday night, as they host the Vegas Golden Knights. After that, however, the busyness of their schedule will subside a bit, as they will not play again until Dec. 22, when the Montreal Canadiens will visit Madison Square Garden. Then it’s another four days off around Christmastime before the Detroit Red Wings come to New York for a Dec. 27 matchup.

With respect to Panarin’s injury, this break in the schedule is fortunate for him and the Rangers, as he could conceivably take close to two weeks to recover (if necessary), and only miss three games. Depending on the nature of the injury, that might be the best course of action for him and the Rangers, to ensure his health for the long haul.

In the meantime, the Rangers will need to find a way to be more productive at five-on-five, as they’ve only netted two five-on-five goals in their last three games. At least if Panarin misses some games, the Rangers’ top power-play unit should be okay with Kaapo Kakko stepping in, as evidenced by the third period in Arizona.