Things were going okay for the Toronto Maple Leafs midway through the first period against the Rangers, then in a 4:45 span, everything fell apart. New York scored five times with Gaborik recording three of his five points on the night during that time. The Rangers' second-leading points scorer would finish the night with four tallies, three days after being benched, in a 7-0 rout. Artem Anisimov(notes) assisted on all four of Gaborik's goals, while Sean Avery(notes) had a hand in three. Henrik Lundqvist(notes) made 22 saves for his seventh shutout of the season, but the night was all about Gaborik, who hadn't scored in eight games before tonight:
Continuing the rough night for Canadian teams, Havlat scored twice and assisted on another as Minnesota romped the Calgary Flames 6-0 at the Saddledome for their third straight win. Niklas Backstrom(notes) recorded his second shutout of the year by stopping 37 shots and putting the Wild within one point of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Havlat now has 12 points in 12 games and is continuing to make his case to be a replacement All-Star should any other players need to pull out.
The Florida Panthers were 53 seconds away from a win when Antoine Vermette(notes) put home a rebound to tie the game 2-2. In the overtime and Columbus on the power play, Umberger was the hero after deflecting a Grant Clitsome(notes) shot past Tomas Vokoun(notes) for the 3-2 victory. Steve Mason(notes) stopped 29 shots to improve to 10-3-1 when he faces 30 shots or more.
Did you know? Gaborik's three hat tricks are the most by a Rangers player since Jaromir Jagr had three in the 2005-06 season. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: For the second straight game, Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov(notes) took a penalty in overtime. Tonight's trip to the box cost Florida the game ... Jonas Gustavsson(notes) lost for the fifth time in seven starts after allowing six of the seven New York goals ... Miikka Kiprusoff(notes) was in net for all six Minnesota goals ... Colton Orr's(notes) slash on Steve Eminger(notes) and this Curtis Glencross(notes) boarding of Clayton Stoner(notes) will likely be reviewed by the NHL for potential supplemental discipline: