ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Racing up the ice with the puck and only New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in front of him, Marian Gaborik was not going to be denied.
The third-period breakaway that gave Gaborik, 25, his fifth goal in Thursday's 6-3 win was a vintage sequence by the Minnesota Wild star, whose smooth strides and speedy skates have energized the fledgling franchise since the Slovakian became the first player it drafted in 2000.
Only when he's on the ice, though. The short story of Wild history includes several chapters on up-and-down moments with Gaborik, whose potential has not yet been reached due to recurring groin injuries and lapses in production and effort.
"The last three games he's been really playing well," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. "He's been skating. He's on the puck. His game is offense, and when he's skating he's dangerous."
Gaborik's was the first five-goal outing since Sergei Federov did it for Detroit on Dec. 26, 1996, in an overtime game against Washington. Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux was the last to net five in regulation, on March 26, 1996, against St. Louis.
"It was an unbelievable thing," Gaborik said after practice on Friday as he reflected on his big night. "You're in an incredible zone. It's electric."
BLUE JACKETS 2, KINGS 1, at Columbus, Ohio -- Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist to help Columbus hand Los Angeles its sixth loss in a row.
ISLANDERS 4, PENGUINS 2, at Pittsburgh -- Blake Comeau scored his first career goal in the third period to give New York the lead for good.
SABRES 3, FLYERS 2, at Buffalo, N.Y. -- Jochen Hecht snapped a late third-period tie to help Buffalo beat Philadelphia.
AVALANCHE 4, RANGERS 3 (OT), at Denver -- Wojtek Wolski tapped in the winning shot 1:16 into overtime, and Milan Hejduk scored two goals for Colorado.
DEVILS 3, OILERS 1, at Edmonton, Alberta -- Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta scored in a 35-second span of the third period as New Jersey beat Edmonton.
STARS 3, FLAMES 2 (OT), at Calgary, Alberta -- Mike Ribeiro scored his second goal of the game 57 seconds into overtime to guide Dallas past Calgary.