Rangers beat Bruins 4-0 in Panarin's first game back

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New York Rangers' Chris Kreider celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Saturday, March 13, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON – Chris Kreider scored his team-leading 14th goal, Artemi Panarin had an assist in his first game back since leaving the team, and the New York Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 4-0 Saturday to halt a three-game losing streak.

Panarin left Feb. 22 after a Russian tabloid printed allegations from a former coach that he attacked a woman in Latvia almost a decade ago, which he denies. His return clearly provided a lift for New York.

“You put him in the lineup and then it looks like we have more swagger,” Rangers coach David Quinn said.

The Rangers went 4-5 while he was gone.

Keith Kinkaid stopped 18 shots for his first shutout since 2018. Ryan Strome, Pavel Buchnevich and K’Andre Miller each had a goal for New York, which lost 4-0 in Boston on Thursday. Mika Zibanejad added two assists and Kreider had one.

“It was definitely a huge boost getting him back,” Zibanejad said about Panarin. “Not only for the game but for the locker room.”

Jaroslav Halak made 29 saves for the Bruins, who have dropped eight of their last 12 games.

“You see a game like that and it's: ‘Are we tired or are we out of shape?’” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “At the end of it, I think there's a number of things. But it's unacceptable, the effort has to be there everyday. That's the most disappointing thing about today was the effort.”