Hockey / Sports

Both Kings, Rangers benefited from trades involving Gaborik

LOS ANGELES -- It's unlikely the Los Angeles Kings would be one victory from winning the Stanley Cup if not for Marian Gaborik and his playoff-high 13 goals.

But Gaborik's former team, the New York Rangers, probably wouldn't be here, either, if not for the April 3, 2013, trade that sent Gaborik to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman John Moore, center Derick Brassard and forward Derek Dorsett.

Moore remembers the day well, because he was sitting on a couch next to Brassard, watching TV in Dorsett's condo, when the deal went down.

" 'Brass' and I were watching the trade deadline together, both of our phones rang and next thing you know we're off to New York," Moore said. "It was kind of unique. We'll always be grouped together. We've always been friends."

Brassard has produced the most statistically, complementing his 18-goal, 27-assist regular season with six goals (two game-winners against Pittsburgh) and six assists in the postseason.

Moore, 23, and Brassard, 26, teamed up in Game 4 to assist on Benoit Pouliot's game-opening goal in the Rangers' 2-1 victory against the Kings. Dorsett contributed five hits and a take-away.

"Happy to be with the Rangers, they've given the guys a chance to produce and be successful," Brassard said. "Since we got here, we've been playing well. Johnny's a great young defenseman; the best is in front of him. 'Dors' is a hard-nosed power forward who's not that big, but plays big. We're having fun -- a few wins from my dream.

"Obviously, trades happen. It's part of the business, part of the sport. This one has worked out."

Actually, it didn't work out for Gaborik and the Kings until Columbus sent the forward west before this season's trade deadline. Gaborik has 21 points in the postseason, including a goal, an assist and 11 shots on goal in the Final.

THAT '70S HEADACHE

The Rangers said there will be great attention given to the Kings' line of center Jeff Carter and young forwards Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, which combined for 14 shots on goal, including a handful of near misses in Game 4.

New York coach Alain Vigneault said Toffoli-Carter-Pearson "were, without a doubt -- especially on that second period there, with their outside speed -- a real force.

"It happened a few times when that line was on, we didn't manage the puck the way we were supposed to. They're coming one way, we're going the other. It's tough for any (defensemen) or forwards to be able to handle that speed. We're very aware of it and we're going to try to do a better job."

BIG VIEWERSHIP

By drawing 3.383 million viewers to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Network announced it broadcasted the most-watched Stanley Cup playoffs in 17 years.

An average of 1.098 million viewers watched the 77 playoff games on NBCSN, a rise of 10 percent from last year's viewership. The ESPN-televised playoffs in 1997, won by the Detroit Red Wings, drew a 1.211-million average.

(c)2014 Los Angeles Times

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