RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Artemi Panarin tied the game, scored the go-ahead goal and then found the net twice more to overshadow a strong win by the New York Rangers with a dazzling individual performance Saturday night.
Ever have a game like this?
''When I was a kid, yeah - against my grandpa,'' he said.
Panarin scored thrice in the third period during his first four-goal outing, helping the Rangers blow open a close game late and beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-2 on Saturday night.
Mika Zibanejad had a power-play goal in the first period and Kaapo Kakko added an empty-net score for the Rangers. Vincent Trocheck added two assists to help stop his former team's seven-game winning streak.
Jaroslav Halak finished with 27 saves in his seventh consecutive victory for the Rangers, who won their fifth straight game and pushed their point streak to seven games.
But it was Panarin who was the star, from scoring the tiebreaking goal off a rebound at 4:33 of the third period to securing his first hat trick since 2019 on a breakaway at 15:59 before adding another one from the slot with 64 seconds left.
And it wasn't as though he felt a big game coming.
''Surprise,'' Panarin said. ''Sometimes when I feel something, it means zero points. ... Four goals, first time in my life.''
That came after he said his confidence started with a ''minus-20'' after missing the net on a quality first-period chance.
It ended up as his first multigoal game this season and fourth career hat trick - second with the Rangers. Panarin also had an assist for his first five-point game since last March 12 at Dallas (one goal, four assists). And his last three goals came after the Rangers shifted lines and didn't have him alongside fellow scoring star Zibanejad.
''That's the thing with those guys, you can mix and match them a little bit and it's not going to hurt anyone,'' Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said.
Teuvo Teravainen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi both scored in the second for the Hurricanes, who carried a 10-game point streak out of the All-Star break. Carolina hadn't lost since falling at home to Vancouver in a Jan. 15 shootout.
Frederik Andersen stopped 13 of 18 shots in the loss.
The matchup paired teams that squared off in two of the past three postseasons. The first came in the Toronto bubble in 2020, a series Carolina won easily. The second saw the Rangers win on the Hurricanes' home ice to close out a tough second-round series in Game 7 last May.
Now the Rangers have won both meetings this season, this one coming by the same score as that Game 7 win.
Panarin pushed the Rangers ahead 3-2 when he put away a loose rebound on Braden Schneider's shot early in the third. Then, after K'Andre Miller forced Sebastian Aho into a turnover, Panarin charged up ice to beat Andersen at the 15:59 mark.
Panarin scored his first goal with a transition chance off a Carolina turnover, taking a feed from Trocheck and burying a 2-on-1 opportunity past Andersen's glove at 17:49 of the second to tie the game 2-all after Carolina had begun to build control of the game.
His fourth goal came when he took a feed from Jimmy Vesey along the boards and scored from the slot, spinning back toward the middle against Carolina's Calvin De Haan to beat Andersen one final time.
''We were really sharp. We needed to get more out of that, the two periods,'' Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said. ''That tying goal late in the second, that was a tough one. ... He's world class for a reason. He was the difference tonight, that's for sure.''
It marked a notable meeting for two players facing their former team.
First there was Trocheck, who left Carolina to sign with New York in the offseason and was playing his first game since in Raleigh. The Hurricanes had acquired Trocheck in 2020 shortly before the COVID-19 shutdown, and he became a vital piece as a two-way center.
Trocheck received warm applause when acknowledged on the bench during a first-period stoppage, offering a wave to the crowd.
Carolina forward Jesper Fast appeared in his 600th NHL game, coming against the team that drafted him. Fast played his first 422 games with New York before signing with Carolina in 2020.
Rangers: At Vancouver on Wednesday.
Hurricanes: At Washington on Tuesday.
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