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Gaborik, Drury KOd in 4-3 home opener loss...(UPDATE)

 

                 The post-game injury report was numbing.

                 Last season's leading scorer with 42 goals and 86 points, Marian Gaborik, is out up to three weeks with a separated left shoulder. 

                Chris Drury, in his first game back from a broken index finger sustained Sept. 20, snapped the same finger, but in a different place. He is out six weeks.

                And Vinny Prospal, who has yet to play a game for thre 1-1-1 Rangers, will have surgery on his knee Tuesday and is out indefinitely.

                That was coach John Tortorella's diagnosis. 

                 The Prospal news was expected. The other blows hurt more. That the Rangers lost 4-3 in overtime to the Leafs is secondary. A 6-3 win in Buffalo that raised hopes for a successful start to the season is in the rear-view mirror. 

                The Rangers will have a major uphill battle in October, will play seven games in the next 15 days without their best forward and captain.  A coach that was hoping to keep his second and third lines together while looking for a No. 1 center has to go back to the drawing board.

               Gaborik was injured at 2:33 of the second on a boarding penalty by Colby Armstrong. Said Ryan Callahan "We'll take care of that when the time comes." Armstrong did skate away from Avery when challenged.

                Drury, who played just 9:11 (Gaborik 9:04)  appeared to injure himself on the boards making a check.

                "We will take a point," said Tortorella. "Obviously I'm not happy about the first couple periods (when the Rangers fell behind and were outshot 30-12)...the lack of physicality." 

               Brian Boyle (two goals) and Sean Avery (two assists) "gave us some life," said Tortorella. "We are striving to be a pressure hockey club and we didn't provide that, really, in the first two periods."

              Phil Kessel, who scored twice, including the winner when the Rangers were shorthanded on Marc Staal's interference penalty, and the speedy, tough, undefeated Leafs won battles and chases to the puck. It could have been 5-1 in the second if not for Lundqvist, who finished with 34 saves.

               In Monday's game here against the Avalanche, C Todd White will certainly play and if Erik Christensen (groin) can go, he'll be in. Tortorella said he'll be ready. The Rangers also might call up a reserve from Hartford. 

             But no one right now can replce Gaborik.

             "I don't think anyone else is going to step up and score 40 goals, but we just have to pick up the slack and find ways to get wins," said Brandon Dubinsky.

             Tall order.

      

****

             The Rangers PK was 6-for-7, including 1:10 of 5-on-3 in the third...Derek Boogaard, Steve Eminger and Ruslan Fedotenko all had assists in their first home game as Rangers...The Rangers managed just 24 shots, 10 in the third period and two in OT.

       More coming up....

 

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