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Battered Rangers lose Gaborik, Drury to injuries

by Dave Lozo
NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers will be without two of their most important players for a significant period of time.

Marian Gaborik, who led the team in goals last season with 42, will miss 2 to 3 weeks after suffering a separated left shoulder during the Rangers' 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. Captain Chris Drury, who was playing in his first game of the season after missing a month with a broken left index finger, will miss an additional six weeks after breaking the same finger in a different spot.

Gaborik suffered his injury as a result of a boarding penalty by Leafs forward Colby Armstrong, who received two minutes for his action. Rangers forward Ryan Callahan had some pointed words about the hit following the game.

"It was a bit of a hit from behind there, and it's no secret that it probably happened because it was Gabby," Callahan said. "We'll take care of that when the time comes."

The Rangers and Leafs play twice in the next two weeks -- Oct. 21 and Oct. 30 at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

Drury's injury was the result of a collision with teammate Michal Rozsival later in the second period.

Despite being down 3-1 to the Leafs at the time of the injuries, the Rangers fought back in the third period behind two goals by forward Brian Boyle that forced overtime. Although the Rangers will be without Drury and Gaborik for a while, they can take solace in the fact they didn't roll over when the going got tough.

"We tried to keep it together on the bench. To get a point out of that game after the second period, I thought we redeemed ourselves pretty well," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We were down to short strokes losing those guys. I'm happy about the resiliency of getting a point."

Tortorella said he expects to have center Erik Christensen (groin) back in the lineup for the Rangers' next game Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.

Rookie Derek Stepan could see more playing time because of the injuries. Tortorella said the team could turn to the minors for help, but he will use the next couple of days to assess the team's situation before making any roster decisions.

"I don't even know who were bringing up yet," Tortorella said. "I just don't know how it's all going to shake out."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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