Artemi Panarin looks to be forcing connection with Patrick Kane

BOSTON — Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane look like two players who haven’t played alongside one another in six years.

That’s because, well, they haven’t. It hardly matters that the Rangers’ two dynamic wings have history skating on a line together — even if they made up one of the most special duos the NHL has ever seen.

They’ve both evolved since the last time they were teammates, in Chicago from 2015-17.

With the Rangers, Panarin and Kane have had just two games — and no practices — to get used to one another.

“They’re trying to force the play into the middle of the ice too much and there are too many turnovers,” head coach Gerard Gallant said of Panarin and Kane after the Rangers’ 4-2 loss to the Bruins on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. “There’s chemistry there, but they’ve got to make sure we’re making strong plays. There are too many times we’re trying for that long pass, east-west in the offensive zone. They know our players, too. They’re going to pick that off and then they’re going the other way.

Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane
Getty Images

“They’ll get it together, but it wasn’t good. There were too many turnovers, not only by them, but by a lot of guys.”

The anticipation of seeing Panarin and Kane skate together again has set the two up for early disappointment. Panarin, who was a turnover machine on Saturday, is seemingly deferring to Kane instead of looking for the right play. On the other hand, Kane is simply getting his feet wet.

It’s a similar situation for the Rangers’ power play. There are so many moving parts after having no movement at all for a majority of the season.

The second unit scored the Rangers’ lone power-play goal in three chances, but the Bruins spent way too much time in their offensive zone when the visitors were skating a man up.

Artemi Panarin won the Calder Trophy when he was playing on a line with Patrick Kane in Chicago.

Despite scoring power-play goals in four of their last five games, including one from Alexis Lafreniere on Thursday, the Rangers haven’t come close to unlocking the full potential of their loaded power-play units.

“It needs a lot of time to jell,” Gallant said of the Rangers’ power play. “A couple guys in different positions and different setups, so we’ll work with it. We’ve got some time this week and that’s the good part of it. There’s a lot of good players on it and it’s going to be a good power play, but you got to get it working.”

With Ryan Lindgren still nursing an upper-body injury, K’Andre Miller serving the final game of his three-game suspension and Tyler Motte out with a presumed head injury, the Rangers skated two men short Saturday against the Bruins.

Miller, who was suspended for the spitting match penalty he earned against the Kings, will be able to rejoin the Rangers’ lineup on Thursday in Montreal.

The Rangers should also be granted an emergency recall ahead of that matchup against the Canadiens, but only a player who carries a cap hit of under $850,000.

The Rangers, who will have six active defensemen once Miller is back, could bring up Jonny Brodzinski, Ryan Carpenter or Will Cuylle.