It didn't take long for Artemi Panarin to officially introduce himself to Chicago.
With the Blackhawks trailing 1-0 towards the latter stages of the first period Wednesday night, Patrick Kane chased down a puck in the offensive zone and found a striding Panarin, who was wide open in the slot and buried home his first career NHL goal against one of the league's best goaltenders in Henrik Lundqvist.
“Emotions were kind of over the top," said Panarin, through teammate and unofficial translator Viktor Tikhonov, following the Blackhawks' 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers. "I’m trying to remember the reactions of the crowd. Kind of got overwhelmed, couldn’t hear anything. I was really happy."
So was Kane, who already realizes he has the luxury of playing on the same line as the skilled Panarin and gushed over the 23-year-old's performance in his regular season debut.
"He's a special player. He's electric," Kane said. "It was nice to see him get his first goal. ... I think once he gets accustomed to the NHL game, smaller ice surface, playing with some different linemates and some different players, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Coach Joel Quenneville didn't go that far in assessing Panarin's play, but he didn't need to. A sold-out United Center of 22,104 saw the same thing as Kane and Quenneville.
"Panarin was fun to watch tonight," Quenneville said. "We call him the Bread Man. Looked like he had the puck all night. ... It was a good start for him."
This isn't the first time Panarin has caught people's attention.
In his preseason debut, he quickly showed the Blackhawks what he's capable of after recording two assists and displaying an incredible ability to stick handle after dancing around several defensemen. Marian Hossa said after that game Panarin is "so slick, and we’ll see a lot of this from him.”
That didn't take long.
Surely, there will be growing pains throughout the season but Panarin didn't show any in his debut.
For the second straight game — albeit the first in the final preseason game — Panarin continued to show great chemistry with Kane and Artem Anisimov, generating multiple scoring chances on Wednesday.
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Quenneville called it the best line of the night, and nobody would disagree.
Just ask Rangers goaltender Lundqvist, who had to defend it.
"That line with Anisimov, Kane and that young guy," Lundqvist said, "I can't pronounce his name, but they looked really good."
Players may not know Panarin's name now, but they will soon.