Front-loaded first line is back

March, 18, 2013
3/18/13
2:32
PM ET
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Looking to jump-start the Rangers' slumping offense -- outscored 9-2 during a dreadful three-game losing streak -- coach John Tortorella has reunited his top three forwards.

Or, at least, the highest-paid forwards.

A struggling Marian Gaborik, who has scored only one goal in the last 14 games, skated on the left wing alongside veteran center Brad Richards and right wing Rick Nash in Monday's morning skate.

It's a front-loaded trio that has generated some success this season, but never quite enough to stick as a consistent unit.

"I don't think we played [together] long enough where we figured each other out," Nash said. "As I've said before, you look at some of the good lines and they've played together years or months whatever it might be. But I did think early on we were having some success and each game we were getting better."

Nash sparked the team last month with his return to the lineup after missing four games, but the Rangers have since cooled off. They have secured only two of 10 points over the past five games and are tumbling down the standings as a result. The Rangers are in 10th place with 28 points heading into Monday night's game against the Hurricanes.

Carolina currently sits in eighth place, a mere three points ahead of the Blueshirts.

"It seems like everything's magnified with this amount of games," Nash said. "When you look at it, we can't change it now, so there's no point in trying to dissect it and figure everything out. It's over and done with and we can only worry about what happens tonight and in the future."
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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