-- New York Rangers
forward Brandon Dubinsky
will miss the next 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture in his left leg, the team announced hours before its game against the Toronto Maple Leafs
Coach John Tortorella said there wasn't a specific incident that resulted in the break, but Dubinsky had been complaining of pain in the leg for weeks. After rest didn't do the trick, the team sent him for an MRI and bone scan Wednesday afternoon that revealed the break.
Dubinsky practiced Tuesday but when the pain became too much to bear, the Rangers sent him for the tests.
"He's been struggling through it for the past couple of weeks here," Tortorella said. "He still was playing very well. It was a surprise. But you've got to move right by it, give the other guys opportunities and just go out and play."
It's been a cavalcade of crushing injuries for the Rangers this season, but losing Dubinsky -- and his team-leading 17 goals and 21 assists -- could be the most crippling.
The Rangers were without last season's leading scorer, Marian Gaborik
, for 12 games earlier this season. Captain Chris Drury
missed 29 games with a finger injury. Both are healthy now, but the infirmary remains loaded with important forwards.
Center Erik Christensen
(knee) and right wing Ryan Callahan
(hand) will be out until after the All-Star break. Vinny Prospal
(knee) hasn't played a game this season after finishing second on the team in scoring last season, and there is still no timetable set for his return.
"You can't worry about how difficult it is. You have to find a way to get it done. We have five games in seven nights here. There's no time to think, no time to whine. It's time to fight and you have to find a way to get points." -- John Tortorella
The Rangers are also without winger Alex Frolov
after he suffered severe damage to his right knee on Jan. 8. Wojtek Wolski
was acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes
a couple days later to offset the loss of Frolov, and he has 2 goals in 4 games with the Rangers.
Tortorella will put rookie forward Dale Weise
into the lineup for Dubinsky on Wednesday night, which starts of a stretch of five games in seven nights. For now, this will be the Rangers roster, Tortorella said.
"You can't worry about how difficult it is," Tortorella said. "You have to find a way to get it done. We have five games in seven nights here. There's no time to think, no time to whine. It's time to fight and you have to find a way to get points."
Dubinsky is used by Tortorella on both the power play and penalty kill, so there's no denying this is a major blow to the team.
"He's in every situation," Tortorella said. He's maturing, becoming a leader. That's just stuff on the ice. You can see him maturing off the ice. He's a big player for us. He's a very important guy in all situations, offensively and defensively. Because of our struggles in our faceoffs, we've been using him more there.
"It's a big hole."
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo