New York, NY – In his second day back with the squad winger Marian Gaborik was able to record a hat trick along with an assist to lead the New York Rangers (9-7-1) to an 8-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers (4-9-3) in hockey action on Sunday night.
“Gab (Gaborik) is back, and I think he played really good today. He got a hat trick so it is a great feeling. We have some chemistry going. We will keep going tomorrow night, another big game against Pittsburg,” said Alex Frolov after the game.
“I feel good it was a relief to get that one under your belt in the first period,” Gaborik would say after the game. “I feel good and hopefully I can keep it up.”
Gaborik got the Blueshirts scoring opportunities going early as he netted the first goal at the 1:35 mark of the first period. Edmonton had several good scoring opportunities but they were all turned away by keeper Martin Biron who was solid in his second straight appearance making 18 saves in filling in for the still sick Henrik Lundqvist.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Biron. “We had a four-game home stand and lost the first two. This could have easily gone south really quickly, but we were able to salvage it with two big wins at the end. Now it’s time for us to take that momentum and apply it to our game on the road which has been pretty solid as of late.”
Edmonton then took all the energy away with two quick goals in the second period as Ryan Jones and Shawn Horcoff both found the back of the net for the brief 2-1 Oilers lead. Things would not stay that was for very long as Erik Christensen was able to strip the puck and give a perfect pass to a rushing Gaborik who was able to put a nice move on Oilers keeper Nikolai Khabibulin to net the second goal of the game at the 7:12 mark. Khabibulin who finished the night with 23 saves in a solid effort for Edmonton.
“It was huge how we reacted to that,” said Marian Gaborik after the game. “We scored a couple of big goals and then just rolled from there. But we have to be careful about these breakdowns.”
Biron had this to say of bouncing back after giving up two goals, “As a goalie it is a shot through the defenseman and I got handcuffed on the shot. I felt like I was in the right place at the right time. But to me the most important thing is how you respond to that. And fortunately I did not have to respond too much, the guys responded for me, which gave me the chance to just settle in.”
In what was a scary moment after that game-tying goal Gaborik had too much momentum and falling into and striking the Edmonton net. Thankfully the winger got up and left the ice. Eventually the winger returned to the ice at the 9:53 mark on the scoreboard.
“Yeah I hit the post but I am okay,” Gaborik would say of his scary spill after the game. “It is good to get bounced around like that. It is a good test to see how the shoulder is doing and I feel fine.”
Just before Gaborik could return though Brian Boyle (8) hit a wicked 27 foot slap shot that was set up perfectly by Ruslan Fedotenko (6) and Brandon Prust (4) to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Rangers at the 7:37 mark in the second period.
Artem Anisimov (6) was able to net his third goal in the last two games at the 13:17 mark as Derek Stephan (3) and Sean Avery (8) was able to get the puck to Anisimov who was able to wrist home the fourth Blueshirts goal. The officials called a stoppage to play to review the goal since it looked as if the skate of Anisimov was in the goal keeper’s crease. In the end the goal was good and the Rangers had the 4-2 lead.
Alexander Frolov netted his first of two goals in the game with the first of the two at the 19:55 mark in the second period as nice passing from both Erik Christensen and Gaborik found the stick of Frolov. Frolov who was able to get the wrist shot to the back of the net after tripping over Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert who was trying to stop the goal from going in. Frolov found a way to score the puck while sitting down showing some considerable skill.
Frolov (4) then netted his second goal of the game at the 12:14 mark of the third period netting an unassisted wrister for the 6-2 lead. Ruslan Fedotenko (3) added a wrist shot at the 12:59 mark, before Gaborik (3) making another nice move to the net in recording his hat trick.
“It’s a great feeling to score, it takes some pressure off,” said Frolov on his performance tonight. “IT was a really good game for our line (Frolov, Christensen and Gaborik) and now we have to build off this. It was two points for the team.”
On kids day the Blueshirts gave the 17,658 in attendance a Sunday afternoon delight, as along with the offensive gush the Rangers also had gushes of fights sprinkled throughout the game. As Edmonton, who was trying to get themselves fired up, found a very game Blueshirts squad willing to stand up for themselves at every chance.
Fans got to see two fights from Derek Boogaard, a fight from Sean Avery along with Brandon Prust. Even Artem Anisimov almost got into a scrum. The officials who did a good job all afternoon long of trying to keep order along with allowing the players go at it when they needed too.
New York will now take a quick road trip to Pittsburgh for a 7:00 p.m. Monday night face-off with the Penguins, before returning home on Wednesday night for a 7:00 p.m. Original Six match-up with the Boston Bruins. On Wednesday night the Rangers will wear their 85th Anniversary Heritage Jersey, which was unveiled just recently.