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Lundqvist in, Staal unexpectedly out for New York

Sunday, 03.20.2011 / 12:53 PM / News

By Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

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Lundqvist in, Staal unexpectedly out for New York
While Henrik Lundqvist played despite neck stiffness, the Rangers unexpectedly scratched Marc Staal with an undisclosed injury Sunday.
PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was in the lineup Sunday in Pittsburgh despite stiffness in his neck that occurred after he was bowled over by Montreal's Benoit Pouliot late in Friday night's game.

The Rangers would have played Chad Johnson, who hasn't started since getting four starts last season, if Lundqvist hadn't been ready to go. Johnson has only one career victory.

During the Rangers' 6-3 win over Montreal, Lundqvist became the first NHL goalie to win at least 30 games in each of his first six seasons.

While Lundqvist was on the ice,  the Rangers were unexpectedly without defenseman Marc Staal due to an undisclosed injury. Staal, an alternate captain and the brother of Penguins center Jordan Staal, has 26 points in 69 games and is a plus-7.  Staal received several stitches to close a cut above his right eye Friday, but finished that game with no other known medical issues.

Rangers coach John Tortorella declined to reveal why Staal sat out, saying it's getting too close to the start of the playoffs to reveal such information.

Tortorella said only that it's "a body injury," failing to disclose whether it was upper-body or lower-body.
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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

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