GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The irony of Wednesday night's double-overtime loss to the Capitals in Game 4 was that Marian Gaborik was having a pretty good game. Right up until the moment he decided to chip a puck away from Henrik Lundqvist's grasp and right into Caps forward Jason Chimera's chest, ending matters.
Gaborik has had some miserable moments this season, having been benched for poor backchecking on a couple of occasions and going long stretches without scoring, but on Wednesday, he was much closer to the player who scored 42 goals in 2009-10.
He scored a goal, he was physical and he was skating as freely as he had in weeks, getting the best scoring chances for the Rangers in the overtimes by finding open ice.
"I felt good, the chances were there," Gaborik said yesterday. "It's too bad a couple of them didn't go in. And the play at the end, it's just a bad bounce. You just have to jump over it, put it behind you. There's no sense to beat yourself with that."
Gaborik had a few notable lapses the final three weeks of the season, namely two failures to keep his feet moving to keep up with forwards from the Senators and Thrashers on rushes that led to goals in bad losses down the stretch.
John Tortorella benched Gaborik for much of the third periods of both those games, but the Rangers coach has been double-shifting Gaborik at times in this series, looking for Gaborik's game-breaking ability to try and counter the Caps' game-breakers, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin.
"He was moving his feet," Tortorella said. "He had some good chances."
Gaborik had a break-in off a neutral-zone turnover midway through the second overtime, but Michal Neuvirth turned his hard wrist shot aside. In the first OT, he would have had a breakaway after a bad Caps change, but Brandon Dubinsky lost the puck when he collided crossing the Caps' blue line with referee Paul Devorski.
"Again, it's one of those things that happens," Gaborik said. "You can't control that. I just hope we get some of those breaks on Saturday."
His overzealous poke-check that led to Chimera's winner was a mistake, but also rotten luck -- Chimera could have easily cruised around the net instead of stopping right by it, and the puck could have gone any number of directions.
Instead, it went straight from Gaborik's stick to Chimera's chest. And then in. Even when he's had a good game, Gaborik somehow ended up looking bad.