Marian Gaborik had four goals and an assist three days after being benched and the New York Rangers scored early and often in a 7-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs last night at Madison Square Garden.
Just a few hours after the Rangers said leading scorer Brandon Dubinsky would be out three to four weeks because of a stress fracture in his left leg, Gaborik picked up the offensive slack as coach John Tortorella had been begging him to do.
Gaborik, who has scored five goals in a game, broke out of an eight-game goal drought with two in the first period and two more in the second as the Rangers picked on goalies Jonas Gustavsson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
“It feels good,’’ said Gaborik. “It has been a battle lately. I need to get going. It is always a big relief to get the first one.’’
Henrik Lundqvist had a quiet night, facing only 22 shots to earn his seventh shutout of the season and 31st of his career.
Blue Jackets 3, Panthers 2 — R.J. Umberger scored on a power play at 4:06 of overtime to give visiting Columbus the victory.
Antoine Vermette tied it with 53 seconds left in regulation and Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason off for an extra attacker.
Wild 6, Flames 0 — Niklas Backstrom returned from a hip injury to make 37 saves for his second shutout of the season as Minnesota won in Calgary.