Monday, October 08, 2007

Avery To Miss 4 Weeks

The New York Rangers lost Saturday night 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators because of some sloppy line changes and some strong play defensively by the Senators.

Not only did the Rangers suffer their first loss of the season, but midway through the first period Ottawa Winger Chris Neil landed a hard hit on Sean Avery knocking him to the ice. Avery got up and was clearly favoring his left arm and immediately went to the Rangers locker-room. He would not return during the game. Neil was given an elbowing penalty for the questionable hit.

Both Avery and Neil had been penalized 56 seconds into the game for a coincidental roughing call. Neil later fought Jason Strudwick with about 5 minutes left during the first period and he accounted for 13 of the Senators 17 penalty minutes.

Chris Neil is known for his hard hitting style. Last season he sparked a brawl which lead to 100 penalty minutes when he blindsided Chris Drury while he was playing for the Buffalo Sabres. Drury suffered a deep cut across his forehead and needed help just to get off the ice. Neil received no penalty on the play but Sabres’ coach Lindy Ruff called it a dirty play. Drury missed 4 games with a concussion due to the hit.

The Rangers received a scare in the third period when Petr Prucha took an elbow to the face from Chris Neil. The shot was late and the elbow was much more obvious than on the Avery hit. Neil received a two-minute elbowing penalty for the hit. After the game he insisted both hits were clean.

The blue-shirts announced on Sunday that Avery will miss up to four weeks with a separated left shoulder. They have not yet announced who they will call up to take his place on the roster.

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