(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers lost more than a game their last time on the ice and will have to shrug off significant injuries to a few key players when they host the Colorado Avalanche tonight at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, but the real bad news came after the loss when head coach John Tortorella revealed injuries sustained by team captain Chris Drury and star right winger Marian Gaborik. Drury will be out about six weeks after he suffered a broken left finger for the second time in as many months, while Gaborik is expected to miss 2-to-3 weeks due to a separated left shoulder.
Toronto's Colby Armstrong drilled Gaborik from behind early in the second period and was given a boarding penalty. Drury was making his season debut Friday after suffering a broken left index finger during training camp. He broke the same finger on a collision with Michal Rozsival Friday night. Tortorella also revealed that left wing Vinny Prospal, who has yet to play this season, will have surgery to his right knee on Tuesday and is out indefinitely.
Forward Erik Christensen and Todd White are expected to take Drury and Gaborik's spot in the lineup tonight. Christensen has one goal in two games this year, but missed Friday's test with a sore groin. White had been a healthy scratch for New York's first three games this year.
"Obviously this is not the way you want to come into the lineup," White told the Rangers official team site. "But I just have to go out and do what's asked of me, whatever role it is. I am just excited for the opportunity."
The Rangers lost Friday on Phil Kessel's game-winner at 3:08 of overtime. The power-play goal was Kessel's second tally of the contest.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche had a two-game winning streak snapped Saturday by the Islanders. Colorado is capping its longest road trip of the season tonight with the fifth stop on the swing.
The Avs fell to 2-2-0 on the trek after getting dealt a 5-2 loss on Long Island. Milan Jurcina scored two goals and added an assist to help the Isles continue their mastery of the Avalanche, who are 0-6-1 with a tie in their last eight encounters with New York.
However, Colorado has won 10 of the last 13 encounters with the Rangers, but the Avs have dropped two straight in the series since their last win over the Blueshirts on December 21, 2007 in Denver. The Avalanche have also won in six of their last eight trips to MSG.