Gaborik breaks slump as Rangers trounce Toronto

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Marian Gaborik broke out of a slump and lit up the scoreboard with four goals as the New York Rangers blasted the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-0 Wednesday.

Gaborik, who led the Rangers with 42 goals last season, had been playing below his potential and was even benched for most of the second period during Sunday's loss to Philadelphia.

But Gaborik, who was held scoreless in eight games leading into Wednesday's contest, erupted with two goals in each of the first and second periods along with an assist to bury Toronto.

"It was a big relief to get the first one, to get the monkey off my back, and then it just was rolling," Gaborik told reporters. "It's nice to get four goals, definitely a good feeling. Now hopefully I can be more consistent."

Prior to the game the Rangers learned they would be without Brandon Dubinsky, their top scorer, for three-to-four weeks with a fracture in his left leg.

Dubinsky, who leads the Rangers with 17 goals and 21 assists, was playing through the injury until an MRI revealed the extent of the damage.

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 shots to help the Rangers (27-18-3) snap a string of two losses.

"I think it's important that we don't use this news (of injured Dubinsky) as an excuse for not winning or getting any points," said Lundqvist.

The Maple Leafs (18-22-5) have lost three straight.

Toronto pulled goaltender Jonas Gustavsson in the first in favor of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, but he returned in the second and allowed a total of six goals on 25 shots.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)