Found March 28, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
ST. PAUL, Minn. Much to the chagrin of the Minnesota Wild, Marian Gaborik still knows how to make himself feel at home at the Xcel Energy Center.
In his second game back in the building he excelled in for so many years as a member of the Wild, Gaborik helped the New York Rangers stay atop the Eastern Conference with a 3-2 win.
Gaborik, Minnesota's first-ever draft pick as a new team in 2000, scored his first career goal against the Wild in his second-ever game against his old team. The Slovakian sniper, who has 321 career goals and 640 points, has now scored against every NHL team.
"It's special to come here," Gaborik said. "I had a great time here. It's always special to come in here and more special to get a win for the Rangers."
Gaborik left Minnesota in 2009 as an unrestricted free agent, going for the big dollars and the bright lights of New York. He was the last original member of the Wild when he left and is the franchise's all-time leader in goals (219), assists (218), points (437), power-play goals (59), game-winning goals (43), shots on goal (1,694) and had five 30-goal seasons in eight seasons in a Minnesota sweater.
After scoring his 38th goal of the season on Tuesday, Gaborik wore a big smile and gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. It was the 110th goal he had scored at the Xcel Energy Center in 256 career games in the building.
"It felt good," Gaborik said. "Big win. It always feels good to win in this building."
But he didn't get the same reaction from the Minnesota fans as he was used to.
"I heard boos," he said. "It doesn't surprise me. But glad I got that goal and helped the team."
Besides the Wild, Gaborik's lowest goal total against another team is four. He has scored four goals against Buffalo in 17 games and Montreal in 16 games. Curiously enough, he has eight goals and two assists in nine games against the Rangers. Of course, his career-highs of five goals and six points in a game came against New York at the Xcel Energy Center in 2007.
Other Minnesota connections: The Rangers also feature a pair of Minnesota natives this season.
Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who is from St. Paul and played high school hockey at Cretin-Derham Hall, played his first game at the Xcel Center in three years. The 2007 Mr. Hockey winner as the top high school player in Minnesota, McDonagh played college hockey for the University of Wisconsin.
He said he had about 80 friends, family and former coaches in the building and said the last time he had played at the Xcel Energy Center was three years ago as a member of the Badgers. McDonagh finished with two assists in 21:46 of ice time Tuesday, tallying an assist on Ruslan Fedotenko's game-winning goal in the third period.
"It was cool," McDonagh said of playing back in Minnesota. "I was thinking back to the high school moments and college games and it's really fun. I felt pretty comfortable out there, comfortable with the surroundings. It was real fun to be a part of."
A first-round draft pick by the Montreal Canadiens in 2007, McDonagh was acquired by New York in a 2009 trade. He has six goals and 23 assists this season and is a plus-26 in 76 games.
"He's a guy that wants to extend himself offensively, improve there," Rangers coach John Tortorella. "He's made tremendous improvements in that. Along with probably, him and Danny (Girardi) have been our steadiest defense all year long. With the minutes he racks and who he is playing against, at such a young age, it's really good."
Center Derek Stepan is from Hastings, Minn. Stepan had 21:22 of ice time Tuesday and has 16 goals and 31 assists in 76 games. Defenseman Michael Sauer, who is on the Rangers' injured reserve with a concussion, is from St. Cloud, Minn. He missed his 52nd game. He has a goal and two assists and is a plus-9 in 19 games.
Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
It will be a big time homecoming for the New York Rangers when they take on the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center tonight. For forward Marian Gaborik, he spent the first eight years of his NHL career playing in Minnesota. And for sophomores Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, Minnesota was their actual "home" where their dreams of becoming hockey players first developed...
In his first two seasons in New York Brian Boyle seemed to run out of steam towards the end of the season, at least offensively. This year he’s getting better as the Rangers approach the regular season finish line; as 3 goals in 4 games and an increased physical presence would suggest.
Boyle is looking more physically engaged, is a reliable faceoff performer and all of a sudden...
It may have taken six months, but the Brad Richards/Marian Gaborik combination has finally become what we all hoped this past offseason.Richards looks like the playmaking center the Rangers thought they were getting when they signed him to a nine-year deal, while Gaborik has rediscovered the magic from two years ago.So why is it clicking now? I guess sometimes it just takes time...
WENN.com reports that Brad Richards former girlfriend Olivia Munn is now dating new Robocop star Joel Kinnaman.Munn broke up with Richards back in January, which seemed to coincide with a prolonged slump for the Rangers center....just when things were going great for Richards, she had to go and do this. Seriously, is Munn a Penguins fan? Let's hope the Rangers organization keeps...
Marian Gaborik gives his thoughts on Tuesday night's game at Minnesota, where he spent nine years as the face of the Wild franchise...Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, who grew up in Minnesota, discuss returning to their hometown tomorrow to take on the Wild...Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rangers report that that all healthy players took part in this morning's practice and that Steve Eminger remains off the ice....does anyone know what happened to Eminger? I don't think it's ever been reported.Meanwhile, Katie Strang of ESPN NY says that Brandon Dubinsky skated on a line with Brian Boyle and Brandon Dubinsky....surprised to see the hot Dubinsky practicing...
The Rangers and Penguins are seemingly locked in what will be an epic battle for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. The Rangers currently lead the Penguins by a single point, both with seven games remaining in the season. While many are panicking about how the Penguins could catch up so quickly (more on that in a second), the Rangers have two distinct advantages...
The New York Rangers had just about everything go right.
Their primary Eastern Conference competitor actually lost a game, and their opponent on the ice gave them an easy path to the go-ahead goal. The Rangers, naturally, were more concerned about their own performance.
Ruslan Fedotenko scored with 6:23 left to lead the Rangers past the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Tuesday to create some...
The New York Rangers have spent much of the season leading the Eastern Conference, but their grip on the top seed has become tenuous.
Three more games against opponents outside playoff position may provide a vital chance to cushion their advantage.
The Rangers look to maintain their first-place status when they face the Minnesota Wild for the only time this season Tuesday night...
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
By Christopher Decker (@HockeyGuy_Chris)
Those are words most New York Rangers fans would have never even fathomed to be true, even as recent as last year. But the Rangers find themselves right there in the thick of a crazy rat race to take home the trophy that will assure them home ice advantage throughout the entire playoffs if, of course...
Bergen Record - John Tortorella tinkering with Rangers lineupBergen Record - Gross: Rangers ignoring the march of the PenguinsNew York Post - Rangers keep watch on PenguinsDaily News - A Wild reunion for GaborikNewsday - Rangers reaching playoff state of mindRemember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at email@example.com.
Just when you think you've seen everything involving the New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects then something comes along that just leaves you going "Huh?" Wednesday was one of those nights where things were wacky as well as wild but one thing for sure, it sure was entertaining.
Guess we have to start with no pun intended an epic meltdown by the Kootenay...
New York Rangers
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #15 Dany Heatley
2. #21 Kyle Brodziak...
The New York Rangers announced today that the start time for their regular season finale on Saturday, April 7 against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden has been set for 6:30 p.m. The Saturday evening matchup will be nationally televised on NBC Sports Network.