- Associated Press - Sunday, January 29, 2012

OTTAWA (AP) - Marian Gaborik staked his claim to NHL All-Star game MVP honors.

The high-scoring Rangers forward scored twice in the first period against New York teammate Henrik Lundqvist, completed his hat trick in the second period with another goal, and added an assist in the third to carry Team Chara over Team Alfredsson 12-9 on Sunday.

Gaborik, who made his third All-Star appearance, became the 16th player to record a hat trick in the midseason showcase. The previous one was in 2008 by Columbus’ Rick Nash, Gaborik’s Western Conference teammate in that game.

It has already been a stellar season for Gaborik, who has a team-high 25 goals and 39 points for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers.