DENVER----Marian Gaborik’s hat trick, rookie goalie Chad Johnson’s first NHL win and the end of a five-game losing streak with a 3-1 defeat of the Colorado Avalanche was overshadowed in the post-game scene at Pepsi Center last night.
In search of scoring, the front office was reportedly negotiating a deal with the Calgary Flames to acquire Olli Jokinen and
Jokinen, 31, is a 6-foot-3 center from
Kotalik, 31, who had been a healthy scratch for eight of the last nine games, had gone public with his displeasure several weeks ago, although both he and his agent denied that they had sought a trade or cancelled scheduled autograph sessions. He has eight goals and 14 assists, but wound up in coach John Tortorella’s doghouse for his defensive play. Higgins had three straight seasons with 20 or more goals for
Meanwhile, Johnson, who had been forced to play back to backs for the first time in his fledgling NHL career and made 34 saves, and Gaborik, who broke a five-game scoring drought in Phoenix and exploded for the 10th three-goal game of his career, had cause to celebrate.
The 23-year-old Johnson, who had allowed three first period goals in the 3-2 loss in
“They came with a lot of speed and I wanted to be aware of that,” said Johnson. “We competed for the full 60 minutes and we were going into the game on a mission to get a win. You want to get the first one to know you can win at this level. It’s such a relief.”
Gaborik’s goals marked his first hat trick since he scored five against the Rangers on Dec. 2, 2007 in
“We played a good two periods in