New York Hockey: Ruslan Fedotenko

Fedotenko signs with Flyers

July, 5, 2012
Despite a strong postseason performance that helped lead the Rangers to the Eastern Conference finals, veteran winger Ruslan Fedotenko will not be returning to New York next year.

The 33-year-old forward agreed to terms Thursday with the Philadelphia Flyers on a one-year deal worth $1.75 million, a source confirmed to's Pierre LeBrun.

Fedotenko joins the Flyers for a second tour; the two-time Stanley Cup winner began his career in Philadelphia, where he played from 2000-02.

The Kiev, Ukraine native had nine goals and 11 assists in 73 games for the Rangers this past season, not including the two goals and five assists recorded in 20 playoff games.

In other Rangers news, 25-year-old restricted free agent defenseman Anton Stralman was one of 16 NHL players to file for salary arbitration.

Rangers relish chance to take 2-game lead

May, 15, 2012

NEW YORK -- Wednesday presents the Rangers with an opportunity that they have yet to seize this postseason. Throughout a grueling first two rounds, the Rangers gave back momentum just as easily as they gained it, failing to capture a commanding two-game series lead.

Following a victory against the Devils in Game 1 -- one in which they were outplayed for significant stretches yet still escaped with a win -- the Rangers have the chance to rectify that Wednesday.

"We were talking about it today in our meeting when were watching video," defenseman Ryan McDonagh explained at the podium of Tuesday's media session with reporters. "We don't play a great game, but we find a way to win in the third period there, getting through some of their surges. You start the series 1-nothing and you want to get a hold of the series in the next game.

"It's a huge opportunity. We haven't done it before; it's made it a tougher road. It would be nice to, in a sense, make a stand on home ice and make that last win mean that much more."

Little has come easy for the Rangers in the first month of postseason play and, as the Devils' relentless forechecking effort and tenacious offensive pressure displayed, they can't expect anything different from this series.

But they can assert control against their Hudson River rivals in a way they couldn't against their first- and second-round opponents, Ottawa and Washington. The top-seeded Rangers jumped out to a 1-0 series lead in both those matchups and surrendered the following game. The pingpong of momentum didn't end there; the team was extended to seven games in both sets.

"The last two series we've kind of let Game 2 slip away from us. We've got to make sure we're ready," said captain Ryan Callahan.

Given the way the Rangers play, grinding teams down versus dominating them, a 2-0 series lead wouldn't necessarily be comfortable. But it would provide breathing room for a team that has had next to none since the regular season.

"It'd be really good. The last two rounds ... it's been back and forth," Callahan said. "We haven't had a two-game lead yet. In this type of playoffs, it's obviously important to get that. We're putting a lot of emphasis in tomorrow's game and trying to get that two-game lead."

The Rangers' inability to impose their control over any series thus far has also been a reflection of some tough opponents. The Senators bruised their way into the series in the quarterfinals, and the Capitals gave them a taste of their own hard-hitting, shot-blocking style of play in the semis. By contrast, the Devils present perhaps the most offensively balanced and aggressive foe.

"You need to give the other teams credit," Ruslan Fedotenko told "We're not playing some pee-wee bantam teams. If [the series] were 4-0, 4-1, people wouldn't be watching."

Everyone will be watching Wednesday, as the Rangers try to chart a different course than in series past.

"I think we have to have that mindset of we gotta be desperate. We gotta try to win our battles," Callahan said. "If we do that, we give ourselves the best chance."

Torts calls Cup stat 'crap'

May, 14, 2012
Count Rangers coach John Tortorella as one person that does not subscribe to the theory that a team that plays 14 games through the first two rounds can't win the Stanley Cup.

When asked about the daunting stat -- no team in the current playoff format has won the Cup after being extended to seven games in each of the first two rounds -- Tortorella brushed it off as nonsene.

"That's a bunch of crap," he said.

The Rangers advanced to face the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference finals -- their longest playoff run in 15 years -- but had to win two Game 7's to get there. Surmounting a 3-2 series deficit, the Rangers knocked off the Senators in the deciding game at Madison Square Garden in the quarterfinals; they needed seven games to dispose of the seventh-seeded Capitals as well.

Those that have been there before, however, aren't too concerned with the statistical data pointing against them.

"To me, it doesn't matter," said veteran Ruslan Fedotenko, who won a Stanley Cup with Tortorella and Brad Richards in 2004 and another while playing for Pittsburgh in 2009.

"I scored two goals in Game 7," he said, referring to his triumphant performance that clinched the Cup for the Lightning in the deciding game against the Calgary Flames eight years ago. "Did I score the last two goals [in the Rangers last pair of Game 7's]?

Rather than rely on statistics, Fedotenko bases his optimism on the mood around the team right now. Asked to assess the club's energy level and mental focus, he seemed satisfied.

"We have a good young team that is playing well and everyone is alert," he said. "If you're not alert right now, you're in the wrong business."

Rupp: Game 7's are "special"

May, 12, 2012
Mike Rupp will play in his sixth career Game 7 playoff match Saturday and the excitement has yet to wane for the veteran forward.

"It just feels different," Rupp said after the Rangers' morning skate. "Like it's a birthday or something, just a special day on the calendar. You approach it in the same way but we all know what a special night and opportunity it is for players to play in a Game 7."

Rupp has played in some memorable deciding games -- he tallied the clinching goal to secure the Stanley Cup for the New Jersey Devils in 2003 -- and knows what to expect from the nerves and emotions.

But he witnessed a calm group following the team's morning practice -- Bob Marley was humming from the dressing room speakers -- and believes that to be a good sign heading into tonight's test.

"It's important to be loose and joking around and our team has a lot of that going on, so that's a good thing," Rupp said. "I found when I was younger, I'd kind of gauge the older guys and see how they were. I think you could go out and get too fired up, so you have to channel that in a certain way."

Rupp is not the only Rangers veteran with a handful of Game 7's on his resume; Ruslan Fedotenko has also played in five and boasts a pristine 5-0 record with three goals and one assist.

• • •

Although goaltender Henrik Lundqvist did not participate in the team's optional morning skate, as he usually does, coach John Tortorella said he was "just dandy."

• • •
Brandon Dubinsky has shed the walking boot he was wearing on his injured right foot and although he politely declined to discuss his timeline, appears to be making progress. Given his time off the ice, however, it is unlikely he'd be able to play at any point during the Eastern Conference finals should the Rangers advance.

• • •

Washington's Jay Beagle, who missed Game 6 with a lower-body injury, is a "game-time decision" according to Caps coach Dale Hunter. Should he be unavailable to play, veteran pivot Jeff Halpern will replace him in the lineup.

Fedotenko elevates his game in playoffs

April, 18, 2012
Kanata, Ontario -- John Tortorella wasn’t happy with Ruslan Fedotenko’s game toward the end of the regular season -- the coach sat the veteran winger down for two games March 21 and 23. But Fedotenko has responded since the playoffs began.

This isn’t the first time the 33-year-old has turned it on in the postseason, either. After all, he tallied twice in Game 7 to help Tortorella's Tampa Bay Lightning secure the Stanley Cup Championship in 2004.

“To me, it’s a mental thing,” Tortorella said. “I thought he was playing brutal towards the end of the year. He’s just found his way here, to ramp his game up.”

Fedotenko’s hard-nosed, grinding play has been the perfect complement to the series’ breakout star Brian Boyle, who has recorded a goal in each of the first three games of the series. The trio of Fedotenko, Boyle and Brandon Prust has been as effective line as any for the Blueshirts – neutralizing the Senators top line of Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and, most-recently, Colin Greening while adding offense as well.

Fedotenko, who sports on his back a tattoo for each of the two Stanley Cups he has won in his 10-year career, clearly has a flourish for the playoffs and has raised his game accordingly.

“You don’t want to dog it during the [regular] season,” he said. “You just try to elevate your game or play better, with that determination during the playoffs, ride that wave and perform the best you can do.”

Fedotenko has not always thrived in the postseason -- he said he was scratched by Tortorella in 2007 -- but he does feel that the high-intensity, tight-checking and bruising tone of the playoffs is tailored to his game.

“I don’t want to say, 'Hey, yeah I’m the playoff guy' and all that stuff, no, but it suits my style -- more physical, quicker, grinder, go hard to the net. ... I think that suits my game a little bit better in the playoffs.”

Fedotenko’s relationship with Tortorella, which dates back to 2002, also helps. He has a good idea of what to expect.

“I think it helps for me right now to understand what he demanded, what it takes to win and accomplish our goals,” he said. “I feel pretty lucky in the early career stages to be coached by great [coaches]. They channeled me the way I should be to be successful in this league and I feel like it’s been great so far.”

It hasn’t been without “battles,” Fedotenko said. But even those have helped to elicit his best.

After being scratched three weeks ago, Fedotenko’s game has improved greatly. He has veered from a conservative, defensive-minded approach to re-establish a strong offensive presence.

“I think it’s definitely helped,” he said. “Since then I feel I’ve played much better.”

Rangers don't make a splash on day one

July, 2, 2011
The first 12 hours of free agency have come and gone and the New York Rangers were rather quiet in the first day. While, everything can change with the signing of Brad Richards, who they are heavily interested in, the Rangers took a much quieter approach on the first day.

The Rangers first signed ex-Pittsburgh center Mike Rupp, reportedly agreeing to a three-year, $4.5 million deal. While Rupp won’t light up the scoreboard at MSG, he will bring some toughness and grit that has become part of the Rangers identity. The signing looks like it could be a solid, low-cost move that helps the team’s depth.

While the Rangers went out and got Rupp, they retained one of their own with the re-signing of Ruslan Fedotenko. It’s a reported one-year, $1.4 million deal, according to TSN, and gives the Rangers another capable body. Fedotenko notched 25 points last season and bringing him back really has no downside.

Of course, the Rangers hoped their first day of free agency would include the top free agent on the market, but Richards has not yet made up a decision. If the Rangers can land the center, the Rupp and Fedotenko signings suddenly become the lesser deals of the summer. If the Rangers don’t land Richards, they might have to become creative to try and upgrade the roster.

Let’s see what day two of free agency holds in store.

Sather: RFA wont be signed before July 1

June, 25, 2011
Rangers GM Glen Sather said he does not expect the team's restricted free agents to be signed before July 1, the opening of free agency, according to the team's twitter page. Sather spoke with the media following the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Forwards Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle and Matt Gilroy, defender Mike Sauer and goalie Chad Johnson are all restricted free agents for the upcoming season. The team's twitter feed also says that Gilroy was not given a qualifying offer, but given another offer.

While this doesn't mean the Rangers won't sign any of their restricted free agents, as it's likely that most of that list of players will be playing for the team next season, they are not going to rush to get those contracts done before free agency begins.

"I've had a lot of conversations with those guys, but it's hard to predict when it's going to happen or not," Sather told

Sather also told that it's a matter of priorities in determining whether to re-sign forward Ruslan Fedotenko, who is an unrestricted free agent.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The Rangers and Capitals certainly won’t be able to complain about a grueling schedule. The teams get two days off between Games 3 and 4 as well as between Games 4 and 5. While they can’t do anything about it, the Rangers wish there wasn’t such a long break between games.

“I know if you’re asking me personally, I’d rather play, I’d rather play every other day,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said following Monday’s meetings. “TV kind of rules with that, doesn’t it? Nothing you can do about it.”

“I go with the flow,” left wing Ruslan Fedotenko said. “Day between [games], that’s great, but two days between, that’s good too. I’m not taking too much and thinking too much. It’s just regroup and be ready for the next game.”

Added right wing Marian Gaborik: “It is what it is, we can’t do anything about it. But I think it helps to give us one day to recover and then tomorrow we go back to work and have a good practice and play on Wednesday.”

AVERY BACK IN THE MIX: After being a healthy scratch in five of the Rangers' final 11 games, as well as the first game of the playoffs, Sean Avery has rebounded to give the Rangers quality minutes in the past two games. He’s logged 19:07 of ice time in the two games and has three shots on goal.

“He’s a good player, he’s a fast player, he can use his speed on the forecheck and physical play, so it’s always good and setting the tone for the rest of the team,” Fedotenko said. “It’s always good when the opposition has to look over his shoulder and hesitate to make his play and think about that big hit, and not playing the puck, that always gives us an advantage.”

Avery, while a fan favorite, couldn’t find time on the ice down the stretch. He was scratched in the season finale so rookie Mats Zuccarello could be used in case of a shootout. He again found himself on the bench with Zuccarello starting in the playoff opener, before being reinserted to add some forechecking for Game 2.

Tortorella credited Avery for his play in Game 3, a 3-2 Rangers win, saying he was consistent in getting in on the forecheck, getting to the net and finishing his checks. His performance was part of a great day for his line, which also included Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust.

“Sean’s biggest assets are his legs,” Tortorella said. “If he starts thinking, he hurts himself. He just needs to go play and use his legs and he’s a very effective player.’

IT’S A MUSTACHE-OFF: It’s not a team-wide movement -- yet -- but Boyle is intrigued to see if he and Brandon Dubinsky’s playoff mustaches will become a fad.

“We’ll see if we can get some more guys on board,” Boyle joked.

The mustaches were of course discussed Monday, and of course, joked about.

Boyle, who grew the mustache first and said he’s going for a Captain Morgan look, said he’s not going to keep his facial hair after the season.

“I’m not really going for style points with this thing, it’s more of a facial hair for the playoffs type thing,’" Boyle said. “My beard is pretty terrible.”

When asked to compare whose mustache was better, Boyle said that’s for others to decide, but said that Dubinsky’s gets the award for being the worst. “You can see it from a mile away,” Boyle quipped.

Gaborik had a different description for Dubinsky’s mustache: “It looks worse, but actually it’s kind of funny. Coolest I would say.”

A GREAT LINE: Even though the line of Avery-Boyle-Prust didn’t score a goal or record an assist, Tortorella applauded the trio for jumpstarting the Rangers early in the game.

“They certainly set the tone in the first period for us. They gave us some good shifts right on through,” Tortorella said. “Brian Boyle arguably has probably been one of our most consistent forwards through the first three games. He had two really good chances on the power play in front of the net and I thought that line gave us some good energy, they kept their discipline, and really in the first period where it was kind of not sure where it was going to go, both teams kind of like waiting, we certainly didn’t have that mindset, but they gave us some energy and I thought we really got involved after that.”

NO GOALS FOR GABORIK: The postseason hasn’t proven to be the galvanizing force for Gaborik, as he has now gone 12 straight games without a goal, which is his longest stretch of the season. While he’s taken 11 shots in the three games, he doesn’t have a point in any of the contests.

Despite the zero points, Gaborik’s confidence doesn’t seem to be shaken.

“I feel pretty good out there. I have to keep going with my legs and you can tell the goals that are scored are all around the net so just have to drive the net,” Gaborik said. “Much better in front of (Michal) Neuvirth yesterday, being in the blue and in his face and that’s how you have to get goals.”

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES: Backup goalie Martin Biron said he has no timetable for his return from a fractured collarbone ... The Rangers talked about the increased pressure on Neuvirth and how the 35 shots led to their three goals ... Several players talked about the Rangers finally getting a bounce on the Dubinsky goal.

W2W4: Rangers vs. Wild

March, 3, 2011
The Rangers host the Wild tonight at the Garden as they look to snap a two-game losing streak and finish off this three-game homestand with at least one win. Here are some things to key on during this game.

GETTING HEALTHY: Left Wing Ruslan Fedotenko will play tonight after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury, while All-Star defenseman Marc Staal will probably make his return tonight after missing the last three game with a knee strain, according to Rangers head coach John Tortorella. Tortorella said the team wants to make sure that Staal is ready to go tonight and they will assess his status after warmup.

“I just want to make sure he feels good about it,” Tortorella said. “As these games dwindle, I’ve said we want to get guys in right away, we certainly don’t want him out an extended period of time by forcing him in that situation where we lost him completely and that’s what we worry about.”

JUMP ON IT: Tortorella would like to see his team get off to a faster start tonight than it has in its past few games. In each of its last two home losses, the Rangers have trailed after the first period, getting outscored a combined 3-0. The Blue Shirts have also not held a lead during this losing streak.

“We’re trying to stay away from that desperation mode of always trying to come back and I believe we will,” Tortorella said. “We will get this straightened out and we have to find a way to get this going right away. First half of the year we did. Second half of the year it’s been a little inconsistent, not all the game,s but certainly more inconsistent.”

DON’T LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER: The battle for the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference is getting tighter with each day. The Rangers are just one point ahead of eighth-place Carolina and three points ahead of ninth-place Buffalo. Carolina has also played one less game than the Rangers, while Buffalo has played two less games. With the Sabres and Hurricanes battling tonight, one of those teams will creep closer to the Rangers. The Rangers need to start picking up points fast or they could become the chasers instead of the hunted soon. The Blue Shirts are just 4-9-1 in their last 14 games.

“If you think we’re playing bad hockey, we’re not,” Tortorella said. “We’re not playing well enough to win and that’s what we’ve been at for quite some while there. I don’t think we’ve played terribly at all but we just haven’t been able to change the momentum in a game or get a big play or a big save or whatever it might be to win a hockey game consistently and that’s our heel. That’s what we are trying to get over.”

OTHER NOTES: Injured right win Marian Gaborik will not play tonight or tomorrow against Ottawa as he battles concussion symptoms….Tortorella did not have a timetable on Michael Del Zotto, who broke his finger in an AHL game Wednesday. He will be seeing a specialist....Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal.

W2W4: Wild vs. Rangers

March, 3, 2011
The Rangers take on the Minnesota Wild tonight at the Garden. With both teams desperate for points in the standings, the contest promises to be an impassioned one. Here are three factors to watch for when the puck drops.

Hungry? Why Wait?

The Rangers are coming off a loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Likewise, the Wild have dropped a pair, including a Wednesday night tilt on Long Island against the New York Islanders. Both teams should be craving this win and that should (should) translate into a ton of energy on the ice Thursday night. That said, the Rangers came out pretty sluggish to start Tuesday night’s contest with Buffalo and failed to establish their forecheck early. That can’t happen again tonight and I’m sure both John Tortorella and his players will emphasize an early burst.

Dinged Up

Andrew Gross reported from practice Wednesday that Marian Gaborik would remain out with a concussion, though he did skate before the session. However, Marc Staal and Ruslan Fedotenko might be ready to return to the lineup, which would certainly be a big lift. The Wild are also dealing with some key injuries. Star center Mikko Koivu (finger) and Guillaume Latendresse (groin/hips). Neither is expected to suit up Thursday night.

Rookie Wall?

The mystical and metaphorical rookie wall should, in theory, be looming before Derek Stepan these days, but at the start of this homestand he had recorded six points in his previous eight games. Since then, he’s been shutout … but only a remarkable save by Ryan Miller made this the case. Stepan and linemate Mats Zuccarello have developed some sensational scoring chances lately, but just haven’t converted. They were paired with Wojtek Wolski at practice yesterday, per Gross, and Thursday would certainly be an apt time for them to breakthrough.
Rangers President & General Manger Glen Sather said he does not expect injured center Chris Drury to return this season during a conference call on Monday. Drury, who has missed 41 games this season, has missed the Rangers past 10 games after arthroscopic knee surgery on Feb. 11.

“He’s a question mark. He’s probably the biggest question mark of all of (the injured players). I don’t think he will be back.”

Drury, in his fourth season with the Rangers, missed the first two games of the season and then fractured his finger on Oct. 15 and missed the Rangers following 29 games. He has just four assists on the season with no goals.

While Sather’s outlook on Drury was bleak, he expects the other sidelined Rangers to make returns at some point this season, including forward Marian Gaborik. Gaborik has missed the Rangers past three games with concussion-like symptoms.

“I met with him today and he said he felt good all day today and he’ll wait to see what he feels like tonight,” Sather said. “He’s been getting some headaches at night but they’ve been less and less and I think he’ll be back before too long.”

Sather added that he doesn’t expect Martin Biron (collerbone) back until the end of the season, Derek Boogaard (concussion) is starting to work out and feel better and will probably return and Marc Staal (knee strain) will return. While Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder) was inactive Sunday against Tampa Bay, he played Friday against Washington.

Said Sather: “I expect all of them to be back at some point in time.”

As health returns, Rangers falter

February, 8, 2011
It’s a little ironic that the Rangers’ season-high five-game losing streak has come just when the team has gotten healthy.

Though Ruslan Fedotenko will still be shelved for a few weeks following an appendectomy, both Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen are back in the lineup. The pair has mounted just one point between them, a goal by Prospal, despite skating with the team’s most offensively gifted player in Marian Gaborik.

For his part, Gaborik has been notching a few more assists of late, but he’s still off his usual torrid scoring pace. In fact, disappointing Devils LW Ilya Kovalchuk is now tied with the Rangers sniper in points with 34 on the season, albeit Kovalchuk has played 10 more games than Gaborik.

Meanwhile Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist told Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record that he’s facing a minor crisis of confidence.

“I don’t want to make a bigger deal out of this than it is,” Lundqvist told Gross. “It’s just confidence, feeling comfortable out there. A lot of the time it’s just making better decisions.”

Aside from those minor glitches though, nothing seems too terribly broken, particularly considering the team has lost its last five games by a combined total of six goals. That includes one in a shootout and an empty-netter by the Montreal Canadiens that accounted for the lone multi-goal loss of the skid.

The Blueshirts will try to snap out of it Friday in a key game against the Atlanta Thrashers, who currently sit just four points behind the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Standings. The schedule will remain tough throughout February with only one game against a team out of playoff contention in a minefield that includes the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning, all of whom are ahead of the Rangers at the moment.

Rangers-Panthers pregame Notes

January, 25, 2011
The Rangers will complete their daunting stretch of five games in seven days when they host the Panthers tonight at the Garden. Tonight will be the final game before the All-Star Break for the Blue Shirts, who are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

GIRARDI OUT: Defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his second straight game with a pulled rib muscle he suffered Saturday against Atlanta. Head coach John Tortorella said Girardi will be ready after the break.

ON THE ATTACK: Tortorella admitted the Rangers have been much more aggressive in trying to score a goal this season in overtime compared to last season. He said the team tries to forecheck more and tries to spend more time up the ice. The Rangers have played 10 overtime games this season, going 8-2 in those games.

SURVIVORS: It seems almost every week the Rangers lose a key player to an injury, yet New York has been able to stay afloat. Even without the services of Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Alex Frolov, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko and Girardi for the previous contest, the Rangers continue to rack up points. In their last two wins, the Rangers even managed to comeback from third period deficits.

“After last year, throughout the summer, in communications and camp started, we tried to create an identity in how we were going to play,” Tortorella said. “I think they have done that. I think they’ve had some success through some adversity, through injuries, of being down in the period and I think they are confident.”

LETS HEAR IT FOR THE CALLUPS: With the rash of injuries, the Rangers have had to rely on callups from AHL Connecticut and Tortorella commended them on their play. Players like Mats Zuccarello, Chad Kolarik, Kris Newbury and Brodie Dupont have all been called up and contributed minutes.

“I think the guys that have come up from our minor league team have done the job and I think it starts with the program down there,” Tortorella said. “I think they’re very well coached I think they are very well-conditioned and I always say that because I think they step right in here and are maybe able to play at a little bit higher level as far as speed. Through all the injuries we’ve had, this is going to help the organization in the long term.”

HOLD YOUR BREATH: Most of the Rangers will start their six-day break for the All-Star Break following the game. Tortorella hopes the team can keep its foot to pedal for one more game.

“I just don’t want us to exhale here,” Tortorella said.

GOING BACK DOWN: With the All-Star Break looming, Tortorella said some players will be sent down to Connecticut to play during the break.

HANK'S BACK: Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal tonight.

THE REINFORCEMENTS: Callahan is on track to return for the Rangers first game after the break against the Penguins on Feb. 1, Tortorella said. He is the closets to returning to action of all the injured Rangers.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, Maple Leafs 0

January, 19, 2011

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.

Rangers sunburned in Sunrise

January, 3, 2011
While the Rangers are returning from Florida for a Wednesday game against Carolina, I’m sitting up in Buffalo (where it’s a balmy 8 degrees right now) at the World Junior Championships for ESPN Insider.

With the big U.S.-Canada showdown set for tonight, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog from up here, but I’ll try to provide some info on the all the local prospects in the tournament when it’s all said and done at the very least.

In the meantime, here’s the view from the Rangers press corps after a rather disappointing 3-0 loss to the Florida Panthers.

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