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Sauer day-to-day with concussion

Dec 7, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT

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Michael Sauer Getty Images

It’s hard to get run over by Dion Phaneuf and escape unscathed. As proof, Rangers defenseman Michael Sauer is day-to-day with a concussion and won’t play tomorrow against the Lightning.

Sauer was caught on the receiving end of a mighty Phaneuf check Monday versus the Leafs at Madison Square Garden. While Dion’s dad loved the hit, Sauer was presumably less enthusiastic.

“[Sauer] was diagnosed with a concussion,” New York coach John Tortorella told reporters today. “I don’t know what grade. He’s day to day.”

It’s a significant loss for the Rangers, who are already being forced to play without big-minute defenseman Marc Staal.

Sauer, 24, has often logged over 20 minutes a night.

“It’s tough,” said Sauer’s defense partner, Michael Del Zotto, as per “We’re missing Marc and he’s such a key component to the team because he plays in all situations. It’s a hole in our backend and nobody’s going to replace him. Now Sauer’s gone, too. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up.”

Little-used Anton Stralman is expected to step in for Sauer.

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