Rangers' Dan Boyle breaks hand in season opener, out 4-6 weeks

Jasen Vinlove / USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers defender Dan Boyle, who left his Rangers debut with just under 18 minutes to play in the third period on Thursday, will have to wait a while before appearing in his second game with the Rangers:

Signed to replace Anton Stralman in the New York's top-four, and punch up an anemic Rangers power play, the loss of Boyle for an extended period of time could prove significant for the team. At this stage of his career, the 38-year-old Boyle isn't moving the needle at five-on-five. Though, he's still a productive veteran defender and a dangerous weapon on the power play.

At least in Kevin Klein the Rangers have a capable, and expensive, option to replace Boyle at right-defense at even strength. 

On the power play, replacing Boyle could prove more difficult for head coach Alain Vigneault and the Rangers. Even though Boyle left early in the third, Boyle led all Rangers skaters in power play ice time by a wide margin on Thursday. Dan Girardi will presumably see a bit more ice at five-on-four in Boyle's absence, but that's not an ideal solution for a club that, even with Boyle in the lineup, was likely to be sub-average with the man advantage this season.

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Rangers' Dan Boyle breaks hand in season opener, out 4-6 weeks
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