Michael Sauer is already out for an extended period of time as he's still feeling symptoms of a concussion. Michael Del Zotto missed last night's game with an undisclosed injury. Prior to the game, Marc Staal apparently had the flu, but played through it anyway. Luckily, the New York Rangers have vast depth on defense, but things have gotten much worse with the conclusion of last night's game.
Not only have the Rangers lost a season-high three consecutive games, but both Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi were removed from the game with injuries.
McDonagh was hurt on a hit from behind from Max Pacioretty, that in all likelihood left McDonagh concussed. Pacioretty received a boarding penalty on the play, but Tortorella was not a fan of the hit at all, asking how high off the ice Pacioretty's skates were on the hit.
The league will likely review the hit, but after watching the replay, it doesn't look as if Pacioretty jumped off the ice at all. However, what is there to review is the elbow. It looked as if Pacioretty had his elbow make contact with the back of McDonagh's head, driving it into the boards and probably causing the concussion.
McDonagh didn't return to the game after the hit — at the 7:20 mark of the second period — and we won't know for sure how serious the injury is going to be.
As for Girardi, he was hit by a P.K. Subban slap shot on this right ankle with 1:23 left in the game. Girardi got down to block the shot, and stayed down after impact.
He needed help getting off the ice.
“I don’t know if it was being hit in the head or seeing Girardi go down, but my stomach turned inside out,” Rangers goalie Martin Biron said. “You hate seeing a warrior like that go down. It’s just a tough, tough, tough thing to see.”
The big picture is bleak here for the defense. If Del Zotto can't return for Tuesday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, the team will have to call up another defenseman from the AHL. For the time being, it seems as if Staal, Del Zotto, Anton Stralman, Matt Gilroy, Steve Eminger and Stu Bickel will be the only healthy D-men on the roster moving forward.
We'll update you on both Girardi and McDonagh as soon as we hear anything.
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