The Hockey News player of the week for Dec. 17-23 is Minnesota Wild right winger Marian Gaborik.
Gaborik posted the NHL’s first five-goal game in 11 years, leading the Wild past the New York Rangers, 6-3, on Dec. 20. Gaborik had a hat trick less than 26 minutes into the game and finished with the first five-goal outing since Sergei Federov did it for Detroit on Dec. 26, 1996 (Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux was the last to net five in regulation, on March 26, 1996).
The third overall pick in the 2000 draft, Gaborik began the week by scoring the the tying goal in Minnesota’s come-from-behind 3-2 win over Nashville Dec. 18.
He also contributed an assist for the Wild in their 4-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 22. The 25-year-old was able to extend his points streak to seven games, totaling eight goals and four assists in that stretch.
In Saturday’s loss to the Wings, Gaborik tied Wes Walz – who retired Dec. 1 – for the franchise record with 438 games played. In that stretch, Gaborik has 182 goals and 183 assists for 365 points.
He has 18 goals and 16 assists in 30 games this season, leading the Wild with 34 points.