NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Minnesota
(Thursday, December 20th)
Final Score: Minnesota 6, NY Rangers 3
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Marian Gaborik notched a career-high with five goals and tied a career-best with six points to lead Minnesota past the New York Rangers, 6-3, at Xcel Energy Center.
Gaborik became the first player in the NHL to score five goals in one game since Sergei Fedorov of the Detroit Red Wings accounted for all his team's tallies in a 5-4 overtime win over the Washington Capitals on December 26, 1996.
"I don't know, really," Gaborik said when asked if he had an explanation for his goal-scoring eruption. "I think everything was just flowing out there. I've been scoring this season, but it was time something like this should happen."
Pierre-Marc Bouchard netted the other goal for the Wild, who have won four in a row and eight of their last 11. Minnesota also set a season-high for goals in a game with the outburst of offense.
Josh Harding stopped 32 shots for his seventh win of the year.
Martin Straka, Michal Rozsival and Nigel Dawes scored for the Rangers, who have dropped three of four. Jaromir Jagr picked up a pair of assists.
Henrik Lundqvist was torched for six goals on just 18 shots in the loss, the fourth in his last six starts. Stephen Valiquette played the remaining 7:56 of the contest and stopped all four shots he faced.
Although Gaborik already had three goals, the Rangers came within 4-3 at 7:15 of the third, when Minnesota defenseman Sean Hill slipped along his own goal line and Dawes turned around to sweep the puck into the net at a sharp angle.
However, the Slovakian sniper added his fourth of the game off by batting a floating puck out of mid-air from a goalmouth scramble 41 seconds later and the Wild went up 5-3.
He then picked up his fifth of the game by stealing the puck from Chris Drury at center ice and scoring on a breakaway midway through the period.
"He was watching this morning on YouTube, watching (Pavel) Bure's five goals against Finland in Nagano, so that was pretty amazing foreshadowing on his part to go out there and have a night like that," Wild forward Mark Parrish said of his teammate.
Valiquette denied Gaborik a sixth goal twice on a two-man advantage late in regulation, but it was a mild damper on an otherwise historic night.
"It was really not our night," said Rangers forward Scott Gomez. "He's a special player, one of the best in the league."
New York took a 1-0 lead with 9:09 left in the first period on a power-play goal. Jagr fed from below the right circle over to Rozsival, for a one-timer which beat Harding through a screen.
The Wild tied the game with diligent work in their offensive zone, as Aaron Voros stripped the puck from a Rangers defenseman at the left boards, then dished to Pavol Demitra, who passed to Gaborik for a one-timer from the right side less than three minutes later.
Gaborik picked up his second of the night by batting a puck out of the air at the top of the crease for a power-play score with 3:47 played in the second, and completed the natural hat trick on another man-advantage tally at 5:38 when he lifted a backhander under the crossbar through traffic in front.
Straka came back to make it 3-2 only 51 seconds later, but another power-play goal, this time by Bouchard at 10:56, gave Minnesota a two-goal edge once more.
Gaborik, an original member of the Wild, also posted six points on October 26, 2002 at Phoenix. His pervious career high was three goals, last done on April 9, 2006 against Colorado...This was his ninth career trifecta, most in club history...Mario Lemieux was the last player to score five goals against the Rangers, in a 10-4 Pittsburgh win at Madison Square Garden on April 9, 1993...Lemieux was also the last player to score five in regulation, during an 8-4 win over St. Louis on March 26, 1996...The clubs had not met since a 3-1 Rangers win in New York on December 5, 2005, and had not played in Minnesota since a 5-3 Wild victory on October 10, 2003...The Rangers continue their road trip on Friday in Denver, while the Wild host Detroit on Saturday.
12/20 23:29:06 ET