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Eric Staal 'should be fine' after injury scare

Rangers forward left game in second period following collision

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers center Eric Staal "should be fine" for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after leaving the final regular-season game, coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday.

Staal was injured late in the second period of a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden.

Vigneault said Staal was held out of the game for precautionary reasons after sustaining what appeared to be an upper-body injury at 18:09 of the second period. Vigneault didn't provide any update on Staal's medical condition but didn't seem concerned about his availability for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin Wednesday.

The Rangers will play in the Eastern Conference First Round against either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Florida Panthers.

"He should be fine," Vigneault said of Staal.

Video: DET@NYR: E. Staal is shaken up after a faceoff

Staal was injured when he was hit by teammate Jesper Fast. Fast's right thigh appeared to hit Staal's head as he was backing into the faceoff circle. Staal's head was down as he was engaged with Red Wings center Luke Glendening.

Staal stayed down on the ice before coming to his feet and skating off hunched over and with some assistance.

"I heard him a little bit; it sounded like he was in a bit of pain," said defenseman Marc Staal, Eric's brother. "It's hard to watch. He's going to be a big part of it for us and hopefully it's not serious."

The Rangers acquired Staal in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 28. He has six points in 20 games with New York.

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