VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Rangers D Staal returns from eye injury

NEW YORK (AP) - Key defenseman Marc Staal returned to the New York Rangers lineup Monday night for the first time since he was struck near his right eye by a deflected puck on March 5.

Staal logged 17 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time in 21 shifts of the Rangers' 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the best-of-seven, first-round series.

New York still trails 2-1 in the matchup, but can get even with a win in Game 4 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

``I thought I would be more nervous than I was,'' said Staal, who wore a visor. ``I felt pretty good going into the game, and I think the confidence is going to grow the more I'm out there and the more I'm in game situations.

``I'll feel a lot better next game.''

Rangers coach John Tortorella certainly wasn't going to wait any longer to get Staal right back into the heart of the action. Once Staal was given the go-ahead to play, Tortorella took advantage of the much-needed lineup addition.

``Even before you step on the ice, it really helps the room,'' Tortorella said. ``He's so well-respected. He's so well-liked. There are times when you can tell it's going to take a little bit to totally get back, but he made some really big plays at key times, too.

``Just the speed of the game is what he's going to have to get used to.''

Staal's return came at a critical time for the Rangers, who were in desperate need of a win after losing the first two games of the series in Washington and mustered only one goal in the process.

``It's huge,'' forward Derek Stepan said of Staal's return. ``He makes the D-core calm. He's got a presence about him that he can just control a game. He did a great job. Early on, I think he had a little bit of the jitters, but he found a way to just get back to himself.''

The Madison Square Garden crowd cheered wildly when Staal was shown on the center-ice video board as part of the starting lineup before the national anthem.

``Once we knew he could play, he was going in the top four (defensemen),'' Tortorella said.

Steve Eminger was scratched from the lineup to make room for Staal, who was on the ice for Jay Beagle's tying goal for Washington in the third period.

Rangers forward Ryane Clowe (suspected concussion) remained out, and New York also lost Darroll Powe in the first period when the forward was elbowed in the head by Washington's Joel Ward.

Powe remained down on the ice briefly after the hit as play went on. He then gingerly made his way to the bench and didn't play the final 11:18 of the period. The Rangers said in between periods that Powe's return was questionable, but he didn't get back onto the ice.

Powe played only two shifts, totaling 2:33 of ice time.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

News: Grand Salami - March
OEL leads Coyotes past Flames, 5-2
Predators beat Sabres, 14-0-1 in last 15
Carter gives Kings 4-3 OT win over Wild
Atkinson lifts Jackets past Bruins in OT
Luongo gets 3rd SO, Panthers top Habs
Penguins G Matt Murray close to return
Bruins sign US Olympic star Donato
Blues F Tarasenko sidelined by injury
Why Buy Picks From
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
7-1 +895 L8, +2,652 This Year
3-0 +331 L3, 9-2 +746 G-Play Run
10-4 +615 L9 Days, +2,599 Overall
2-0 +280 LN, 13-5 +1,087 Streak
10-4 G-Plays, +2,303 This Season
30-13 L43 Picks, 23-11 L34 G-Plays
3-1 Last 4 NHL Picks
NHL Pro Hockey Expert Sports Picks - Edmonton Oilers at Carolina Hurricanes
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 2652
Stephen Nover + 2599
Matt Fargo + 2303
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 557
Gary Bart + 531
Bill Marzano + 335
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 2371
Bruce Marshall + 914
ASA + 104
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 2777
Kevin Rogers + 1142
Scott Rickenbach + 1023
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 1706
Ben Burns + 1602
Kevin Rogers + 1421
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 688
Scott Rickenbach + 528
Stephen Nover + 473
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership