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Three Recalled from Hartford (AHL); Dusablon Makes NHL Debut

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that forwards Benoit Dusablon (right) and Ken Gernander as well as goaltender Jason LaBarbera have been recalled from the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL).

All three players suited up for tonight's match vs. Boston, as Dusablon made his Rangers/NHL debut. He logged 8:06 of ice time on 12 shifts, registered a shot on goal and went 3-for-4 on faceoffs in his first game, centering a line with Gernander and Garth Murray on his wings. LaBarbera dressed but did not play, serving as Mike Dunham's back-up in the 3-1 loss.

Dusablon, 24, has appeared in 34 games with the Pack this season, tyiung for fifth on the team with 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists), along with 18 penalty minutes. His plus-17 rating ranks second on the club and his three game-winning tallies are tied for fourth on Hartford.

The 6-1, 207-pound native of Ste. Anne de la Perard, Quebec was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on June 12, 2002. Prior to this season, he posted 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists), along with 57 penalty minutes in 88 matches with the Wolf Pack during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.

Gernander, 34, is currently tied for fifth among Wolf Pack players with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 58 games this season. His plus-11 rating is alo tied for fifth on the team, while his four game-winning goals ranks fourth on Hartford.

The Coleraine, Minnesota native has appeared in 25 contests with the Rangers, registering two goals and three assists for five points, along with four penalty minutes. Gernander made his NHL debut as a Blueshirt on March 9, 1996 at Washington and collected his first NHL goal, on the power play, putting one past Olaf Kolzig.

The 5-10, 175-pounder was originally selected by Winnipeg in the fifth round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Gernander was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on September 9, 1994.

LaBarbera, 24, leads the AHL with 26 wins, posting a 26-7-8 mark in 47 games this season thus far. His 12 shutouts also leads the league and established a new AHL record for most shutouts in a single season by a goaltender - eclipsing a 61-year record first established by the Buffalo Bisons' Gordon Bell during the 1942-43 season.

The Burnaby, British Columbia native made his first NHL start this season with New York on November 20, 2003 at Colorado and made his Rangers/NHL debut on October 14, 2000 at Pittsburgh. LaBarbera was New York's third round draft choice, 66th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
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