Gaborik’s benched for most of third period after bad clearing attempt

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Marian Gaborik made a bad clearing attempt late in the second period of Wednesday’s game and it led to the New Jersey Devils’ tying goal. The Devils went on to record a 3-2 victory and tie the series at 1-1.

Gaborik didn’t get a shift in the third period until there was just 8:40 remaining. He was even held off the ice during a Rangers’ power play. Rangers coach John Tortorella must have been pretty unhappy.

“You’ll have to ask him (Tortorella),” Gaborik suggested.

Oh dear. Unsurprisingly, the Rangers coach opted not to talk about his decision to bench Gaborik.

Still, it seems reasonable to assume that the two events were related. Gaborik was limited to 15:21 minutes of playing time overall, which is a new low for him in the 2012 postseason.

You have to wonder if that was the right time to send Gaborik a message. He’s one of the team’s best offensive weapons and to bench him for a critical part of a one-goal game is not an easy thing to do. Still, Tortorella’s decision might help the team in the long run.

For now though, the Rangers have their work cut out for them as the series heads to New Jersey.