The Rangers began life — at least a short stint, they hope — without Ryan McDonagh, as their captain was sidelined for his team’s 6-1 victory over the Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Wednesday night.

McDonagh had testing done on Tuesday that revealed he had a “mild strain” in his abdomen, according to coach Alain Vigneault. He is expected to be “shut down” until Sunday, when he will be reevaluated. That means he will also miss Friday’s Garden match against the Red Wings and Sunday’s home matinee vs. the Canucks.

It’s an injury that had been bothering McDonagh for a while, and there is going to be more stress put on the other defensemen — including Steven Kampfer, who drew back in after being a scratch for the previous two games.

“There’s no doubt that Ryan plays a lot of minutes, plays important minutes, plays big minutes against the other team’s top line,” Vigneault said. “So we’re going to have to spread out the workload [in] 5-on-5 and on the specialty teams. This gives an opportunity for some other guys who are always looking at me for more ice time, they’re going to get it.”