Marian Gaborik benched in third

Updated: May 17, 2012, 3:35 PM ET
By Katie Strang | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik was stapled to the bench for the majority of the third period in New York's 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, presumably as punishment for a gaffe on New Jersey's game-tying goal.

With the Rangers holding a 2-1 lead, Gaborik made a casual clearing attempt that was intercepted by Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador at the blue line -- a miscue that led to Ryan Carter's deflection with 1:51 to play that served as the momentum-swinging equalizer in Game 2.

Gaborik remained on the Rangers bench for the entire first half of the third and did not reappear until 11:03 into the period.

He also was not on the ice the last 1:29 in regulation, including the last 1:07 when goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was pulled for the extra attacker.

Like virtually every other question asked of him in his curt postgame press conference, Tortorella refused to answer.

When asked to discuss his benching of Gaborik, who at $7.5 million per year is the team's highest-paid player, he offered one word:

"No."

Apparently he didn't say much more to Gaborik, either.

"No," Gaborik said when asked if he received an explanation from Tortorella for his limited ice time. "The second goal, I didn't get the puck out, I guess. You have to ask him."

With Gaborik on the bench to begin the third, New Jersey's David Clarkson tallied the go-ahead goal on a deflection of Adam Henrique's shot at 2:31 of the third.

"I have to do a better job on that second goal," Gaborik said. "We had some momentum and they took it back. We need to do a better job on the walls. But it's a series. We need to come back to their building and play better."

When asked about frustration over not being on the ice with a tying goal needed late in the third, Gaborik said: "You want to be out there, obviously. We've got to get back for the third game and make sure we're strong, myself as well."

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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