Rinaldo's 'clean hit' sidelines Jackets' Gaborik

Rinaldo's 'clean hit' sidelines Jackets' Gaborik

December 22, 2013, 9:00 am
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Marian Gaborik saw his first action in over a month Saturday but will again have to miss significant time with a broken collarbone. (USA Today Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It was literally crunch time for Marian Gaborik.

Speeding into the zone, he fired a puck on net in the first period. A series of events unfolded after the shot, which turned into Ryan Johansen’s 13th goal of the season.

But for Columbus, the more serious issue was Gaborik getting sandwiched between Braydon Coburn and Zac Rinaldo, with the latter getting an elbow into Gaborik’s left shoulder on a check as the forward was hunched over.

The crunch hit left Gaborik with a broken left collarbone in the Jackets' 6-3 win (see Instant Replay). He’ll miss significant time after having just returned to the Blue Jackets' lineup from a knee injury (17 games missed).

“He plays low,” Rinaldo said. “I got him sandwiched into Coburn. Got him on the left collarbone.”

Blue Jackets officials in the press box were screaming for a high-elbow call on Rinaldo. There was no penalty on the play, and because the play continued into a goal, it went overlooked as a mere check.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety is certain to review the hit, but for the record, no Blue Jackets player complained about it after the game.

In fact, Nick Foligno labeled it “a clean hit.”

“I’m not worried,” Rinaldo said.

Loose pucks
• Jakub Voracek had an assist to extend his scoring streak to a career-high seven games. He has posted six goals and five assists for 11 points over that span.

• Claude Giroux had an assist to extend his scoring streak to six games, which ties a career high. He has four goals and seven assists for 11 points over that span.

• Wayne Simmonds recorded his first two-goal game of the season. After going 10 games without a goal, he has three goals in as many games.