Artemi Panarin’s hat trick lifts Rangers past NHL-best Bruins

BOSTON — Artemi Panarin was credited with three goals — the second when Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk knocked the puck into the Boston net in the final minute of the second period — and the New York Rangers went on to beat Boston 5-2 on Thursday night.

The Rangers third victory over Boston in as many tries this season closed the Metropolitan Division leaders within one point of the defending Presidents’ Trophy winners for the best record in the NHL.

Artemi Panarin (right) celebrates with left wing Alexis Lafreniere (13) and center Alex Wennberg (91) after scoring one of his three goals in the Rangers’ 5-2 win over the Bruins. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Jeremy Swayman is unable to stop a goal by Artemi Panarin (not pictured) as center Alex Wennberg (91) watches during the second period of the Rangers’ win. AP

Adam Fox also scored and Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots for New York, which has won six of its last eight games.

Mika Zibanejad added an empty-netter with two minutes left, and Panarin added his career-high 41st goal of the season a minute later with the Bruins’ goal still empty.

DeBrusk and Justin Brazeau scored for Boston, and Jeremy Swayman made 26 saves.

The Bruins, who have 97 points this season to New York’s 96, lost for just the second time in seven games.

Jonathan Quick makes a save on David Pastrnak’s during the first period of the Rangers’ win. Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Fox celebrates his third-period goal against the Bruins. NHLI via Getty Images

The Bruins led 1-0 when Panarin scored through the legs of defender Pavel Zacha and Swayman with eight minutes to play in the second period.

Panarin tallied his second when he tried to cross the puck, but DeBrusk dove onto the ice to block the passing lane but instead deflected it into the goal.

Chris Kreider (20) and Brandon Carlo (25) battle for the puck during the second period of the Rangers’ win. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Brazeau tied it for Boston, cleaning up a puck that snuck behind Quick on Marchand’s shot.

But just 40 seconds later, Fox wristed a bullet into the top shelf to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

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