A Mix of Boos and Cheers For Panarin

Thursday night marked Artemi Panarin's first game back at Nationwide Arena since leaving the franchise as a free agent this offseason. The Rangers forward received a mixed reaction from the 15,785 fans in attendance.

He interacted warmly with fans during pregame, chatting with some of them and giving a young girl in Blue Jackets gear a stick.

When he left the ice with his traditional sprint to the bench, however, he was booed.

He was likewise booed the first few times he touched the puck, and when the Blue Jackets began airing a video tribute for Panarin's two seasons in Columbus, there was a lusty crowd reaction that eventually seemed to dissolve into cheers.

At the end of the night, Panarin had the game-winning goal in a 3-2 New York victory.

"It really helped me feel better," he said of his score.

For more of his comments on the contest, listen below.

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