Veteran winger Marian Gaborik again paying off for Kings

Veteran winger Marian Gaborik again paying off for Kings
Kings right wing Marian Gaborik unleashes a shot that would beat the Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, tying the score, 4-4, midway through the third period of Game 2 on Saturday night at Staples Center. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

It's the trade that keeps on giving.

Marian Gaborik was a deadline-day acquisition by the Kings in March, a last-minute attempt to reboot an offense that had scored more goals than all of three teams at the time.


What he's done in the Stanley Cup playoffs has been wildly unpredictable — 13 goals in 23 games.

It's the most in the league. By far. Teammate Jeff Carter and Chicago's Jonathan Toews are second with nine goals each.

Plucked from Columbus and now two just two victories from hoisting his first Stanley Cup after the Kings beat the New York Rangers in double overtime Saturday, 5-4.

"I'm glad we got him," Kings forward Anze Kopitar said.

There was hope when Gaborik arrived for Matt Frattin, a second-round pick and a third-round pick. But also caution. He had missed 40 games this season, 23 because of a broken collarbone that kept him out of the Sochi Olympics.

"We'll see if Gaborik can fit into our type of game," Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said at the time.

He knows now. Again and again.

With the Kings down a goal in Game 2, Gaborik couldn't get an initial shot past Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist but he got another chance after Chris Kreider failed to clear the puck. Gaborik buried it this time at 7:36 of the third period to tie the score at 4-4.

Said Kopitar: "He's usually at the right time in the right place."

Gaborik, 32, will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Times Square Ferrell

The Kings not only hold a 2-0 Stanley Cup Final lead. They also showed New Yorkers a hint of what it was like to be inside Staples Center.

The Kings purchased video-board advertising in Times Square near Madison Square Garden and posted video Friday of comedian Will Ferrell imploring fans — in text below the screen, no audio — to roar, "Go Kings Go!"

"There's a lot of attention and buzz surrounding the Stanley Cup Final," said Michael Altieri, the team's vice president of communications and broadcasting. "Our goal is to rise above the noise.


"This was an opportunity to do that with respect to the Kings and NHL, with no disrespect to the Rangers."

The video was a one-day activation dreamed up by the team's marketing department. Altieri said the team might implement other ideas, but he wanted to remain coy about divulging plans.

Ferrell gave his approval for the segment that routinely plays inside Staples to air in New York, Altieri said.

Sleep well

Instead of rushing out to New York on cross-country red-eye flights after Game 2, the Kings and Rangers spent Saturday night in Southern California and were scheduled to board their charters Sunday morning with Game 3 looming Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

"It's just common sense," Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault said before Game 2. "If we were to fly home after the game … we'd be getting home at 5 or 6 in the morning. You lose a full night's sleep."

And that was without knowing Game 2 would last 31/2 hours.