There were concerns about Marian Gaborik's injury history and ability to perform on a big stage when the New York Rangers signed him this summer, but he's looked every bit like an All-Star so far.
Lately, though, his teammates haven't given him much help.
The Rangers try to break out of their offensive slump Saturday afternoon as they visit the Ottawa Senators looking to avoid a sixth loss in eight games.
Gaborik has bounced back from an injury-plagued 2008-09 with Minnesota, recording 13 goals and 11 assists in 12 games during a successful early stint with the Rangers. His presence seemed to energize his new team, as New York led the NHL with 46 goals as of Oct. 26, but it has since returned to the offensively challenged ways that resulted in the club ranking 29th in goals last season.
The Rangers (10-8-1) managed 13 goals over the last seven games, with a 5-3 loss to Atlanta on Thursday the fifth defeat in that stretch.
Brian Boyle pulled New York within one 6:18 into the third period, but the Rangers didn't score against despite outshooting the Thrashers 18-5 in the final 20 minutes.
"We are not getting the results right now," said forward Vinny Prospal, who has four assists but no goals in the past seven contests. "The third period really showed how effective we can be playing 5-on-5."
Gaborik had three goals and three assists in his past five games, but two of New York's other top forwards are banged up. Brandon Dubinsky will miss the next month after breaking his hand in a loss to Calgary last week, while Chris Drury suffered a concussion in that same game.
Drury's status for Saturday's game is unclear.
Dubinsky had two goals -- one an empty-netter -- in the Rangers' 5-2 win over Ottawa (8-6-2) on Oct. 3 at Madison Square Garden. Former Senator Prospal also scored, along with Gaborik.
The Senators' Pascal Leclaire gave up four goals that night, and had another rough outing against an Atlantic Division team Thursday. He stopped 22 shots in a 5-1 loss at Philadelphia, giving up three goals in the final period.
Coach Cory Clouston, though, wasn't discouraged by Ottawa's fourth loss in six games, saying the team "played very well" for the first 40 minutes.
"I don't know if we can play much better on the road than that," Clouston said.
The struggling Leclaire went 2-3-1 with a 3.55 goals-against average in his last seven starts. As a result, Brian Elliott (2-1-1, 3.20 GAA) is expected to start Saturday.
Elliott made 25 saves in a 2-0 home loss against the Rangers on Jan. 10, his only career start versus New York.
Henrik Lundqvist didn't play well Thursday, his first game back after missing two with a lower-body injury, but could be much better Saturday. He went 4-2-0 with a 1.66 GAA in his last six starts versus Ottawa.
Senators leading scorer Daniel Alfredsson scored three goals in his last five contests against the Rangers.