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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Staal unlikely for Game 1 vs. Caps

By Katie Strang

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Pre-empting the crowd of reporters surrounding his dressing room stall, Marc Staal assured them he had no new information about his injured right eye.

And although Staal did not definitively rule himself out, he said he will "probably" not play in Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the Capitals in D.C. on Thursday.

"I'm not going to ... I'm probably not going to play tomorrow," said Staal, who has been sidelined since being struck in the eye with a puck March 5.

Staal continues to practice with the team in hopes of returning soon. The 26-year-old defenseman missed almost half of last season with a concussion.

"There are good and bad days," he said. "So, [I] keep taking it day by day and hope it keeps getting better."

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Ryane Clowe, whose undisclosed injury is believed to be a concussion, and Brian Boyle (lower body) did not practice with the team Wednesday

Derek Dorsett (shoulder) practiced in a yellow noncontact jersey.

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With four days to rest, recover and prepare in between their regular-season finale against the Devils on Saturday and Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Thursday, the Rangers have had their most significant amount of practice time thus far during the lockout-shortened season.

A good thing in some ways, though coach John Tortorella senses his team is getting restless.

"They're sick of practicing," Tortorella said. "We're not used to it, especially this year. You're playing every other day. Even the coaches ... we're just used to playing. This is the time of year you should be playing. Again, I'm not complaining, it's just a lot of time."

So much time, in fact, that Tortorella decided to wrap things up early Wednesday. Both Monday and Tuesday the team practiced for double sessions, with the second session devoted to special teams.