Marian Gaborik returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup tonight for the first time since Nov.14 thanks to a knee injury. However, his return was short-lived as the three-time 40-goal scorer was crushed between Braydon Coburn and Zac Rinaldo of the Philadelphia Flyers in the first period of play, breaking his collarbone.
The Slovakian winger received an assist on the play, setting up teammate Ryan Johansen’s 13th goal of the season, before immediately heading to the dressing room. Gaborik did not make a return to the ice and Columbus has announced he will be out indefinitely.
Columbus eventually won the game 6-3 over the Flyers, but the loss of their highest-paid player yet again is a big one.
The return of the former third overall pick into the forward corps was a bright light for the offensively challenged Jackets, who currently sit 19th in the league in scoring, but they’ll have to figure out a way to score without him. Maybe Johansen or RJ Umberger, who had two goals a piece in the game, will be the answers in the ‘Arch City?’
The game was an incredibly rough one as referee Dan O’Rourke also left the contest before the beginning of the second period. O’Rourke was sandwiched into the boards by several players and was kicked in the chest. He also did not return.