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Right knee sprain sidelines blueliner

NEW YORK -- Rangers defenseman Greg de Vries, one of the
NHL's most durable players, will be out four to six weeks with a
ligament sprain in his right knee.

The injury to the Rangers' most dependable and consistent
defenseman occurred in the second period Thursday night of New
York's 3-2 loss at Carolina.

De Vries was playing in his 223rd consecutive NHL game, the
sixth longest active streak in the league, when he was met by a
hard, clean check from Hurricanes defenseman Bob Boughner during
his first shift of the period.

"I came off the boards and I felt something was wrong," said
de Vries, who didn't return to the game.

An MRI exam Friday revealed a second-degree sprain of his medial
collateral ligament.

The defenseman signed a four-year, $13-million deal with the
Rangers last summer after spending the previous five seasons with
the Colorado Avalanche. He has three goals and eight assists with a
plus-17 rating in 40 games.

He was a plus-1 on Thursday, marking the 22nd time in 23 games
de Vries has posted a plus or even rating -- going plus-18 over the
span and recording six of his 11 points.

"It's a tough time of the year to lose a guy like that," said
Glen Sather, the Rangers coach and general manager.

The Rangers didn't immediately announce any roster moves. Their
next game is Saturday against the rival New York Islanders.