New York forward Artemi Panarin, the Rangers’ leading scorer and potentially the biggest offseason addition of any team in the NHL, missed Tuesday’s game vs. the New York Islanders because of an upper-body injury.

Panarin, signed by the Rangers in July after he led the Columbus Blue Jackets to the playoffs, has 26 goals and 68 points this season, but the club — clinging to postseason contention in the Eastern Conference — wants to be cautious with their best player as the All-Star break nears. Pavel Buchnevich replaced Panarin at left wing on a line with Ryan Strome and Jesper Fast.

Between a bye week and the All-Star Game, the Rangers don’t play again until Jan. 31 against Detroit. Entering play Tuesday night, Panarin was fifth in the league in scoring, 10 points behind the leader, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.


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