Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival.

Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival. Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

FARMERS BRANCH, Texas - Nursing a pulled rib muscle, veteran defenseman Michal Rozsival was not on the ice Thursday for practice at a public facility about 15 miles north of downtown Dallas.

Neither was Brandon Prust, who needed treatment on his left shoulder, which he injured during his bout with Troy Bodie in the Rangers' 2-1 overtime win over the Hurricanes on Wednesday. And Ruslan Fedotenko's hand, struck by Brian McCabe's slap shot over the weekend, still was sore.

The depth of these banged-up Rangers, already missing Ryan Callahan, Erik Christensen, Vinny Prospal and Derek Boogaard, surely will be tested in yet another set of back-to-back games, starting Friday night against the Stars at American Airlines Arena, followed by Saturday night's game against the Blues in St. Louis.

"This is a tough trip starting with Dallas," coach John Tortorella said after a practice designed to shake out the cobwebs. "They're a good team and have been consistent all the way through."

The Stars, 24-13-4 in the more competitive Western Conference, are more than good, and the Rangers have to be greatly concerned about them.

But of greater concern are two things - the injury bug and scoring. Should Rozsival not be able to play against a team that the Rangers haven't beaten here since 2006, including a 10-2 crusher in November 2009, rookie Ryan McDonagh will make his NHL debut.

Rozsival, who suffered a rib injury against the Panthers and twisted it again in the second period Wednesday in a battle along the boards, said he will test his mobility this morning. Tortorella thinks Rozsival and Prust will be in uniform.

As far as the team is concerned, a few more goals wouldn't hurt. In the last four games, the Rangers have six goals in regulation, one an empty-netter. The power play is 2-for-20, and both goals came in the 7-2 battering of the Islanders on Dec. 27.

"We just have to stick with it," Tortorella said. "We have to stay within ourselves and play the game that we feel we have to play to be successful."

More Rangers