COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — With his first goal as a Blue Jacket, Artemi Panarin showed exactly why Columbus traded for the elite forward over the summer.
Panarin snaked through a group of defenders and scored a tiebreaking goal in the third period, lifting the Blue Jackets over the New York Rangers 3-1 on Friday night.
Panarin broke a 1-1 tie 7:25 into the period, maneuvering through at least three Rangers before shooting the puck between goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s pads.
“You never know what he’s going to do, honestly,” Columbus defenseman Seth Jones said of Panarin, acquired in a trade with Chicago. “He’s so creative and he’s such a good player. I’ve never seen anything like that before on my team, so it’s fun to watch and be a part of.”
Panarin tied for the team lead with four points as the Blue Jackets improved to 3-1-0. The Rangers are 1-4-0 and off to their worst start since the 2013-14 season.
Jones had a goal and an assist, and fellow defenseman Zach Werenski had two assists for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves.
“Bob gives us a chance,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “That game could be out of sight before the third period starts if we don’t have the goaltending we had tonight.”
Lundqvist stopped 40 shots for the Rangers.
Kevin Hayes scored for New York with 5:25 left in the first period. Hayes intercepted Jones’ drop pass and charged on a breakaway, beating Bobrovsky on his glove side.
Jones made amends with 45 seconds left in the second by snapping a shot from the left wall that hit the Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad in the shin. Lundqvist was caught lunging the other way, and the deflected shot bounced in off the post to make it 1-1.
“I’m not going to say I deserved the bounce, but the way the first period ended, I needed something to keep me going,” Jones said.
The Blue Jackets opened the third with an 11-0 shot advantage in the first six minutes but couldn’t solve Lundqvist until Panarin broke the tie after dancing around New York defenders. Tortorella said it was one of the best periods the Blue Jackets have played this season.
“They totally dominated us in the third period,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “We definitely have to get our game in order. It’s there for spurts, it’s there for minutes but in this league, a competitive league like it is, you have to play for 60 minutes, and we’re not doing that right now.”
Lundqvist lamented the Rangers’ inability to finish games.
“It’s tough,” he said. “We’ve been coming up short two games in a row where it’s right there for us (but) we’re not getting that extra play at the end to tie it up.”
NOTES: Columbus had a goal waved off 29 seconds into the game because Matt Calvert backed into Lundqvist in the crease. Calvert had redirected a shot by David Savard. … Blue Jackets D Gabriel Carlsson was injured and left the game in the third period. … F Zac Dalpe started for the first time this season for Columbus, taking the place of Markus Hannikainen, who was a healthy scratch. Dalpe was scratched the first two games. … Blue Jackets F Boone Jenner is still out with an injury. He hasn’t played yet this season. … Columbus C Jordan Schroeder, returning from an injury, was sent to Cleveland of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment.
New York: Hosts New Jersey on Saturday.
Columbus: Plays at Minnesota on Saturday.