<
>

Goal-drought ends at 16 for Dubi

Brandon Dubinsky claims it’s not about mountains and valleys or highs and lows.

“It’s about hills and holes,” the third-line left winger said after scoring his first goal since Nov. 11 and earning the Broadway Hat for the second time this season in the Rangers’ 4-2 victory over the Islanders on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

For the last month-and-a-half, the 25-year-old might as well have been in a black hole. But 17 games after potting his first and only other goal this season, Dubinsky finally climbed out of it. Just 5:07 into the first period, he carried the puck from behind the net and down the right wing boards before uncorking a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

“It’s obviously frustrating when you’re accustomed to being an offensive guy and being an important guy,” Dubinsky said. “But again, everybody has ups and downs in their life and in their career, and for me hopefully I can build off this and allow myself to forget about this and let it just be a blip on the radar.”

Coach John Tortorella had been impressed by the way Dubinsky handled the drought.

“The thing I like about him is he’s handled himself the right way,” Tortorella said. “He’s assessed himself properly throughout this. He knows he hasn’t done the things he needs to do. He’s working at that and you need to get results sooner or later. He played really well for us in the third period at crucial times.”

In his last two seasons, Dubinsky averaged 22 goals. He’s got a long way to go to get there, but hopefully he can begin to climb the hill and give the Rangers some added scoring depth going forward.

“With effort you always need results,” Dubinsky said. “For anybody if you give the effort, you expect results, and that contributed to it.”