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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, Maple Leafs 0

By Matt Ehalt



Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: The Rangers broke out of their offensive slump by stomping the lowly Maple Leafs, 7-0, on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. New York (27-18-3) moved up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

GIFT OF GABBY: Marian Gaborik didn’t just end his eight-game scoreless drought---he put an exclamation point on his return to the goal column.

Gaborik emphatically broke out of his slump with four goals, his season high, and his third hat trick of the season. He also had an assist to give him a season-high five assists.

Gaborik scored twice in the first period and completed the hat trick with a slick goal that somehow found space between Toronto goalie Jonas Gustavsson and the left pipe. He added his fourth goal later in the second period.

ROBIN TO HIS BATMAN: While Gaborike stole the show with his goals, Artem Anisimov had a career night by aiding Gaborik on each of his scores. The four assists and four points were each career highs for the center.

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION: Where has this offensive attack been the past month? After failing to score more than three goals in their last 10 games, including their first nine contests in 2011, the Rangers erupted for seven tallies, their best showing since Dec. 27. The seven goals surpassed their total of six from their previous four games, a span in which they went 1-3. In addition to Gaborik’s four goals, Brian Boyle, Ruslan Fedotenko and Mats Zuccarello each scored.

MASTERFUL HANK: Henrik Lundqvist continued his fantastic season with his seventh shutout of the season and the 31st of his career. Lundqvist is now 13-6-2 in his last 21 games, including five shutouts.

NOT ALL THE RANGERS WON: If there had been three judges for Rangers right wing Dale Weise's fight with Toronto’s Luke Schenn, the verdict would’ve been an unanimous decision for Schenn. Toronto’s defenseman landed several head blows before Weise fell to the ice. Weise heard some boos.

PROMOTION TIME: With Brandon Dubinsky sidelined with a stress fracture in his left fibula, the Rangers tweeted during the game that they have recalled Chad Kolarik from Connecticut. Kolarik scored 17 goals and collected 33 points in 39 games for the Whale.

INJURY NEWS: Fedotenko left the game with a shoulder injury in the second period and did not return.

UP NEXT: The Rangers will play the first of five games in seven days when they hit the road to take on the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night at 7 p.m. It's the opener of a three-game road swing.