Better news than expected for Michal Rozsival, who underwent an MRI today - believed to be on his left knee - and the Rangers have just announced he'll be out 7-10 days with a lower-body injury.
Best case, Rozsival could return with perhaps five games remaining in the season, perhaps even in time for next Monday's game against the Devils, though that's probably pushing it.
"He's played pretty well," John Tortorella said of Rozsival. "He can give you some offense. He gets us out of our end zone. He's on our power play. He's been taking hits to make plays. He's a good player and we'll miss him but you can't bellyache about that. You have to find a way to make due without him."
The Rangers have been relatively injury-free this season, having lost just 25 man-games through Sunday's loss to the Senators.
Rookie Mike Sauer, who played in four games in five days through Sunday with the Wolf Pack, steps into the lineup and will presumably be paired with Rozsival's partner, Paul Mara.
"He just got better and better to the point where last month, every report I got and every game I saw, he was the best of a good lot," assistant GM Jim Schonefeld said. "They're playing well as a team and he was the best of a good lot of defensemen.
"If you're looking more for an offensive thrust, (Bobby) Sanguinetti, he's the point leader down there on the blue line," Schoenfeld added. "He'd be the more likely player there. What we really try to do when we evaluate the kids in Hartford is to take the player that is playing the best at that position at that time. We want the guys to make the maximum contribution when he's here and we feel Mike can do that. He's a strong player. He's an intelligent player so that means he's going to make pretty good reads defensively. He's added some offense to his game lately in the last 2-3 weeks. Again, probably coinciding with the recovery of the knee (Sauer had major knee reconstruction surgery last season) where he's just a little bit quicker, a little bit sharper. He's a pretty intense kid, bright and now we'll see because it's a big step and now you have to see how they are in competition."