Artemi Panarin Praised for Saving Rangers with Game 7 OT Winner vs. Penguins

Doric SamMay 16, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 15: Artemi Panarin #10 of the New York Rangers celebrates his game winning overtime goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Seven of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 15, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin had struggled throughout the team's first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. But in Sunday's Game 7, Panarin came up with the biggest shot of his career with a goal in overtime to give the Rangers the series victory at Madison Square Garden.

B/R Open Ice @BR_OpenIce

THE RANGERS COMPLETE THE COMEBACK! 😱<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> <a href="https://t.co/CV0hWAEVsq">pic.twitter.com/CV0hWAEVsq</a>

Panarin had recorded three points in Game 2 but then only had three points total over the next four games combined. He also didn't get off to a great start in Game 7 by picking up two penalties in regulation. When it looked like the Rangers were on the verge of being eliminated on their home ice, Panarin was getting eaten alive online for his struggles.

But the tone changed once Panarin found the back of the net 4:46 into the extra period with nine seconds remaining on a power play. Fans and critics had no choice but to praise the 30-year-old for redeeming himself when it mattered most:

Joseph Staszewski @Joe_Staszewski

Rangers have been waiting for that all series from Panarin. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a>

Bruce Beck @BruceBeck4NY

Artemi Panarin joins Stephane Matteau as the only <a href="https://twitter.com/NYRangers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NYRangers</a> Overtime Game Winning Goal Scorers in a Playoff Game 7 <a href="https://twitter.com/TheGarden?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheGarden</a> !

Chris Bumbaca @BOOMbaca

Artemi Panarin bout as good of a FA signing you can do in sports these days

Chris Williamson @CWilliamson44

Artemi Panarin will never have to pay for breadsticks at Olive Garden again.

Adam Rosen @arrosen76

That Artemi Panarin guy is pretty darn good, Blackhawks could use somebody like him… oh wait

Vinnie Parise @VinnieParise

I am absolutely dumbfounded that the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Blackhawks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Blackhawks</a> traded Artemi Panarin.

Luke @lbuchy81

Anddddd that exact moment is why Panarin moved to New York City to play hockey

Dan Rosen @drosennhl

Terrific shot by Panarin. <a href="https://t.co/OmCnpyoEYp">https://t.co/OmCnpyoEYp</a>

Vince Z. Mercogliano @vzmercogliano

Gallant admitted it had been a tough night for Panarin, but said he had this thought going into OT:<br><br>“If we get the winning goal, I know it’s going to be him.”<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a>

Forever Blueshirts @4EverBlueshirts

Artemi Panarin gets it done when it counted most! And credit K’Andre Miller for drawing that penalty. The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a> roar back down 3-1 to win it.

The Rangers made a major investment in Panarin when they signed him to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract in 2019. He earned his first selection to the NHL All-Star Game in 2020, and he led New York with 96 points (22 goals, 74 assists) in the 2021-22 regular season.

Sunday's win should be a massive confidence boost for Panarin as the Rangers head into the second round against the Carolina Hurricanes. If he can return to the consistent player who led the team throughout the year, New York will have a good shot at taking down the Metropolitan Division champs.