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Minnesota's Marian Gaborik salutes the crowd after scoring five goals Thursday against the Rangers. ((Andy King/Associated Press))

Marian Gaborik scored early and often, finishing with five goals as Minnesota doubled the New York Rangers 6-3 on Thursday night.

New York goaltender Stephen Valiquette denied Gaborik a shot at tying a modern record for goals in one game, stopping the Wild sniper twice late in the game on a power play.

Valiquette had replaced starter Henrik Lundqvist, who played 52 minutes before leaving the ice.

Gaborik scored 13 minutes into the game and twice each in thesecond and third periods. He took 10 shots during the game, and assisted on Minnesota's other goal, scored by Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

Gaborik skated out after the game to the delight of the home crowd in St. Paul, Minn., and was taken off on the shoulders of veterans Keith Carney and Sean Hill.

The Slovakian now has 18 goals on the season.

He is the first player in the NHL to score five goalsin a game since Sergei Fedorov achieved the feat for Detroit onDec. 26, 1996. But Fedorov scored his fifth in overtime. Gaborik was the first since Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux to score five in regulation, achieved against St. Louis in March 1996.

"One time I got five goals when I was playing back home for a pro club back there, but this is just totally different," Gaborik said. "You score five goals in the NHL it's just a totally different experience. To reach it here with these guys in front of our fans is just unbelievable."

Darryl Sittler scored six goals in a game for Toronto on Feb. 7, 1976. Sittler added four assists to set a record for most points in one game.

Red Berenson is the only other player to reach six in the modern era, for St. Louis in 1968.

"It was pretty amazing," Wild captain Mark Parrish said. "He was banking 'em in out of the air, scoring on breakaways, skating through everybody with it, making highlight film goals. My God, he was doing it every which way tonight.

"When a guy like that's feeling it, it gets pretty scary for the other team."

Joe Malone holds the all-time record, with seven on Jan. 31, 1920. Malone and three other players scored six in a game between 1920-21, with Detroit's Syd Howe markingsix in a 1944 game.

Bouchard also added an assist for Minnesota (20-12-2). Pavol Demitra and Aaron Voros each had two assists for the Wild.

Martin Straka, Michal Rozsival and Nigel Dawes scored for New York (17-14-3).

With files from the Associated Press