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Gaborik returns to MSG as playoff’s leading goal-scorer

Jun 9, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT

Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan, Henrik Lundqvist, of Sweden, AP

NEW YORK — Marian Gaborik had some good seasons when Madison Square Garden was his home ice. He scored 42 goals for the Rangers in 2009-10; he scored 41 in 2011-12.

But it wasn’t all roses, and Gaborik was traded to Columbus in 2013, before he was sent to Los Angeles this year.

Funny how things work out, tonight he’ll be back on MSG ice in the Stanley Cup Final, but as a member of the Rangers’ opponents. He could even be hoisting the Cup here this week, if the Kings win tonight and Wednesday.

For the 32-year-old who started his NHL career in Minnesota, it’s been a “long time coming” to play in the Cup final.

“I’ve been in the league since 2000,” he said. “When you get older maybe you appreciate it more, and I’m grateful to play in my first final. It makes it a little bit more special to play against the Rangers, that’s for sure.”

While many wondered if Gaborik’s sleek style would be a fit on a physical team like the Kings, he’s proven any doubters wrong, scoring 13 goals in these playoffs, four more than any other player has managed.

“Just trying to make it simple, playing alongside [Anze Kopitar] and [Dustin Brown],” he said. “Anze, great playmaker. Brownie, makes his physical presence.”

As for his old side, the Rangers?

“I think they’re a more balanced team,” he said. “They have a lot of speed, as they did before, but they’re a more balanced team and definitely they deserve to be in the finals.”

Related: Tortorella: ‘Don’t give me any [expletive]‘ about Gaborik relationship

  1. lowenni - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    I like Gabby a lot. I’ll be the first to call him inconsistent, but when he’s on, he’s so much fun to watch with his speed. I’ve said before that if he was capable of scoring 40 goals in stifling defensive systems in NY and Minny then he could’ve had the potential to score 60 goals in his prime, and I really believe that. Glad he’s getting his redemption after a few rough seasons. I’m not rooting for the Kings, but I do want to see Gabby lift the Cup.

  2. blomfeld - Jun 9, 2014 at 1:35 PM


    It’s almost incredible when you think about it. Here we are two years on and ‘again’ an angel is sent from the great state of Ohio to join our ‘glorious’ ranks and lead us to the promised land ! You just gotta love it man ! :)

  3. nicofthenorthstar - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Glad to see gabby doing what he’s doing. Bummed he’s doing it for LA.
    I said to some hockey buddies a couple months ago that it would’ve been cool if the wild brought back gabby at the trade deadline instead of Moulson. They scoffed, said we don’t need that guy. The bitterness among wild fans about the way gabby left is understandable, but boy howdy it would’ve been nice to have him in the Christmas sweater again.

  4. dontbsuchapuss - Jun 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Sad part is he is only one good hit from going back on the ir good to see him playing well but he is prone to injuries and it’s only time

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