Yesterday, we talked about Brandon Dubinsky and how his left leg injury meant that some specific members of the New York Rangers had to step up a bit in his absence. Long story short, the Blueshirts needed Marian Gaborik to be that guy -- the guy who could take the team on his back and carry them offensively while their leading scorer is on the shelf.
After all, Gaborik's the highest paid player on his team and he's supposed to be the most productive scorer, but instead, he's been, frankly, a punchline. After last night's game against Toronto, Gaborik's the one laughing.
The forward scored four goals on seven shots, and he even added an assist, too. The Rangers won in dominant 7-0 fashion and it was all Gaborik's fault. The scoring started with this beauty -- well, it's a beauty if you're a New Yorker, and just flat out embarrassing if you're a Leafs fan:
It'll be vital to the Rangers that Gaborik take this swagger and carry it for a lengthy stretch of time, because while one game is fantastic, it's not going to mean anything if he can't keep it up.
- Blueshirt Banter was obviously ecstatic about the evening, while Pension Plan Puppets had the, um, tame (?) reaction from the Toronto side of things.
Elsewhere on a quiet night in the NHL...
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Florida Panthers 2 (OT)
Florida, dudes. Close out a game! For the second outing in a row, the Panthers gave up a late third period lead before ultimately losing the game in overtime. On Monday night it was a crushing loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, in which Florida gave up two goals in the final two minutes to lose a shut out and lose the game.
Last night was just as rough. With 53 seconds left in the game and Chris Mason on the bench for the extra attacker, Columbus defenseman Grant Clitsome tee'd up a shot from the point. R.J. Umberger put a screen on Tomas Vokoun, and the rebound came right to the stick of Antoine Vermette.
Then, in overtime, Dimitry Kulikov was whistled for hooking, and that was the only break the Blue Jackets needed to finish off the Panthers. On an almost identical play, Clitsome, the rookie out of Clarkson University, fired a blast from near the blue line. Umberger, positioned in front of the net again, got his stick on the puck, which snuck by Vokoun.
Game, set, match.
- Litter Box Cats recalled the last time Columbus was in town, and the Panthers couldn't hold a lead then, either. The Cannon was pleasantly surprised in the Jackets' late heroics.
One game after rallying back from down four to tie things before losing in overtime, the Calgary Flames apparently didn't have another rally in them. They fell down 2-0 in the first period and hung around for most of the second, but the Wild piled on late and wound up with a lopsided, embarrassing win over their division foe.
We're not going to pretend like a 6-0 game between the Flames and Wild is an exciting affair, so we'll leave it at this: What the hell is this goal celebration?
- Hockey Wilderness was literally shocked. The Wild played so well, they didn't know where to begin. Matchsticks & Gasoline said that the game was boring for a reason totally different than originally anticipated. Tell us how you really feel.