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Rangers’ Zibanejad suffers broken fibula after crashing into the boards

Florida Panthers v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 20: Mats Zuccarello #36 and Chris Kreider #20 escourt Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers off the ice after his injury during the third period against the Florida Panthers at Madison Square Garden on November 20, 2016 in New York City. The Panthers defeated the Rangers 3-2 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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The New York Rangers lost in the shootout to the Florida Panthers on Sunday, but the news was much worse for Alain Vigneault’s group.

Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad went crashing into the end boards, feet first, during overtime and was unable to put pressure on his left leg as he was helped off the ice by his teammates.

Vigneault announced after the game that Zibanejad suffered a broken fibula and is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

The Panthers came back to win 3-2 in the shootout. Keith Yandle, the former Rangers defenseman, scored his first goal as a member of the Panthers.

But for the Rangers, the loss of Zibanejad from that high-scoring lineup is significant. He scored in Sunday’s game, to go with four shots on goal, and has five goals and 15 points in 19 games for New York.

“Every team has got injuries and we don’t expect to be any different,” Vigneault told reporters. “Like every coach says in these moments: It’s an opportunity for somebody else to get more ice time and ... I’m confident whoever we decide to put in that spot will be able to do the job for us.”