Gaborik relishes his return to New York

  • Article by: GREG LOGAN , Newsday
  • Updated: June 10, 2014 - 6:31 AM

He’s starred for the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final against his former team.

hide

The Kings' Marian Gaborki battled Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh and goalie Henrik Lundqvist as the puck bounced up during Game 3 on Monday.

Photo: Frank Franklin II, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– As homecomings go, it doesn’t get much better than the one Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik got to enjoy in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. It was his first game at 33rd Street and Seventh Avenue since the Rangers traded him to Columbus on April 3, 2013.

Gaborik is not quite yet the conquering hero for the Kings, who acquired him from the Blue Jackets on March 5, but with a Cup-leading 13 playoff goals and a 3-0 lead over the Rangers after Monday night’s 3-0 victory, he’s close. The low-key Slovak — who missed much of the season because of knee and collarbone injuries but picked up an assist on Jake Muzzin’s power-play goal in the second period Monday — admitted his heart might beat a little faster for this one.

“That gives you a little extra jump,” Gaborik said Sunday after the Kings arrived at their midtown hotel. “It’s my first time coming back to the Garden after I got traded. I’m going to see the Garden after all the renovations for the first time. They have great fans, and they are supporting them. We’re going to come out with heart.”

He downplayed any sense of personal vindication after serving as former coach John Tortorella’s whipping boy before being shipped off after nearly four seasons and 114 regular-season goals in 255 games.

“I’m grateful to be in my first Final in as many years as I was in the league,” Gaborik said. “To play the Rangers makes it a little more special. They’re a good team, and obviously, the coaching change from before seems to have helped. Coming to the Garden will be special.”

Teammate Justin Williams smiled when asked if Gaborik might get a tad emotional.

“He’s got a ho-hum attitude,” Williams deadpanned. “He’s going to come play the team that traded him away. Right? He’s going to be gung-ho and excited like the rest of us are.”

The Kings arrived knowing the Rangers now are under pressure to hold serve on home ice. But as Kings coach Darryl Sutter noted, the Garden always has been a place that stirs passions for visitors, too.

“The best part of playing the Rangers is you get to play in Madison Square Garden,” Sutter said. “It’s the best of the old-time buildings.

“I’ve been coming to Madison Square Garden for 30-some years. I know it’s been refurbished, but the fans are still the same, and they love their team and hate the other team. That’s what you like. You like going into buildings that are like that. It’s full, and they’re loud and say they hate you. That’s good.”

As a former Ranger, Gaborik agreed that visiting teams tend to lift their game on the big stage. “I think so,” Gaborik said. “I don’t think I’ve met or talked to any player that didn’t like the Garden. Definitely, the building has a lot of history, and everybody that plays there has that extra jump.

“Just to look around at the building itself, there’s some sort of energy that you want to be in there and just play. Our whole team will have that energy, and we will come out strong.”

  • related content

  • New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) defend against Los Angeles Kings right wing Marian Gaborik (12) in the second period during Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final, Monday, June 9, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit - WP: D. Price 12 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco - LP: S. Romo 9 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 10
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez 4
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close