Capitals vs. Rangers: Marc Staal unlikely for Game 1

Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

Marc Staal is able to fully participate in practice but still has concerns about returning to the starting lineup. He spoke about his progress after practice on Thursday.

New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is unlikely to play against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Thursday night.

Staal stated it was going to be difficult to sit out a playoff game. However, he was able to practice with the team on Thursday and felt comfortable while doing so. He explained that he has seen all situations in practice and is attempting to regain his confidence. Staal's main concern is being a positive contributor for the team. Noting how successful the defense corps has been of late, Staal doesn't want to compromise their production by returning prematurely.

Staal has missed 27 games since being struck in the face with a deflected shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 5. He experienced facial fractures and eyesight impairments as residual effects of the incident. While his fractures have healed, his eyesight has yet to fully return and peripheral vision has been noted as an issue.

More in the NHL:

Complete Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage

Bet on these hot playoff teams

Our playoff predictions

The best of our hockey network

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.