New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, right, checks Phoenix Coyotes...

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, right, checks Phoenix Coyotes center Kyle Chipchura, left, during the first period. (Dec. 17, 2011) Credit: AP

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The revolving door that has been the Rangers' defense corps spun again Monday.

Ryan McDonagh, who was boarded from behind by the Bruins' Andrew Ference in overtime Saturday, delivered the good news: He will play Tuesday night against the Jets in the Rangers' final game before the All-Star break.

But Michael Sauer, who is recovering from a Dec. 5 concussion and hasn't skated in several days, has been completely shut down by trainer Jim Ramsay. "He really hasn't felt that great after a few days on the ice,'' coach John Tortorella said, adding that he was not even doing off-ice workouts. Sauer, who was felled by Toronto's Dion Phaneuf, will miss his 23rd game.

McDonagh, who is logging about 25 minutes a game, had a better medical report. "I got the wind knocked out of me," he said after practice. "I was a little dizzy, but everything came back shortly after the game. The extra day off [Sunday] helps for sure. It was just a little bit of whiplash. I didn't go face-first [into the boards] . . . He's coming in there pretty fast and I didn't even realize -- until I watched the video -- that he clips my skate, and that's probably what puts me off-balance a bit. It wasn't like it was intentional. It was an unfortunate play and I was just fortunate that I wasn't too hurt."

Ference was suspended three games for the hit.

Tortorella admires the 22-year-old's toughness. "Seven blocked shots, a glove save off his hand . . . I think he's sore from just the game himself, but he's on the ice, doesn't even ask for a day off."

That type of mental strength and physical courage during the victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions should boost the Rangers' confidence, Tortorella said. "When I watched the tapes, I was even more impressed how hard they played. Being a hard team doesn't mean just finishing checks and fighting; it's taking a hit to make a play, it's blocking shots. I just like the way we carried ourselves."

Notes & quotes:The Jets, who have lost to the Rangers twice with Martin Biron in goal (2-1 in Winnipeg and 3-0 at Madison Square Garden) are expected to start Ondrej Pavelec in net . . . Despite Sauer's absence, eight defensemen were on the ice for practice, including Jeff Woywitka (healthy scratch against Boston) and Steve Eminger (separated right shoulder).

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