May 7, 2013
Marc Staal's return an emotional lift for Rangers
By KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency
NEW YORK - Marc Staal was able to provide an emotional lift in a triumphant return for the New York Rangers.
Playing for the first time since taking a puck in the right eye on Mar. 5, Staal made an immediate impact in a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Monday.
“I thought I would be more nervous than I was,” Staal said. “I think the confidence is going to grow the more I’m out there and the more I’m in game situations.”
Staal played 21 shifts for 17 minutes and 17 seconds of ice time.
“It’s huge. He makes the D corps kind of calm. He’s got a presence about him,” Rangers centre Derek Stepan said. “He can just control a game. He did a great job. Early on, he had a little bit of the jitters but he got back to (being) himself and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
“He’s so well-respected in the room,” added Rangers head coach John Tortorella. “This is two major injuries that he’s come back from. Even before he steps on the ice, that really helps your room.
“He made some really big plays at key times too. Just the speed of the game, that’s what he’s going to have to get used to.”