Linemate Andrew Copp (lower-body) also left in the second period and did not return for the Rangers, who settled for the No. 2 seed in the Metropolitan Division as a result of the loss.
Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said in his postgame availability that he doesn’t believe either injury to be serious, and that both players could have returned. But given the situation, with the playoffs starting next week, the club wanted to be “cautious.”
Gallant also admitted that given what he saw on Tuesday, he may alter his strategy for the rest of this week and sit some of the team’s stars. “I’ll think about it tomorrow morning,” he said.
Panarin, a staple on the No. 1 power play unit, is the team’s leading scorer, with 96 points and averages 19:06 time on the ice. Copp, acquired at the trade deadline from the Winnipeg Jets, has flourished playing with Panarin. In 16 games with New York, he has eight goals and 18 points.