Marian Gaborik's nightmare season got even worse Sunday, as the right wing left the Rangers' 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers with a concussion.

Coach John Tortorella first said that Gaborik's injury did not occur during the Blueshirts' eighth loss in their last 10 games, in which the 29-year-old did not play after the first period. The coach then backtracked and said that he was not sure when Gaborik was hurt, but that "he's had some conversations off the ice that he just wasn't dead-on."

Gaborik has scored just six goals in his last 22 games, four of them coming in a 7-0 rout of the lowly Maple Leafs on Jan. 19. He did play an effective game Thursday, skating as well as he has all season while scoring a goal in the Rangers' 4-3 shootout win over the Kings, but was held without a shot in Friday's 1-0 loss to the Devils.

Tortorella said that Gaborik complained of not feeling well after the first period, at which point he "left it up to (Gaborik) and (trainer Jim Ramsay) . . . and they told me 'No.' "

Earlier this season, Tortorella told the Daily News that when it comes to head injuries, "there's so much more awareness now. We have to step back as a coaching staff and allow the professionals to let us know what's going on."

Concussions have been a hot-button issue in the NHL all season, particularly since Penguins star Sidney Crosby was hit in the head in the Winter Classic, was not tested for a concussion, then played four days later and suffered another blow to the head that has kept him out ever since. Even in Sunday's game at the Garden, Flyers goalie Brian Boucher was shaken up when teammate Kimmo Timonen's knee hit him in the head in the third period, but stayed in the game after a conversation with trainers.