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Rangers' Girardi sustains injury in Game 1 win

by Dan Rosen /

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi was injured with 9:29 remaining in the third period Thursday at Madison Square Garden after he was struck on the right side of his face by a deflected shot from Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz.

Girardi did not return to the game. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Girardi was being seen by the team dentist, but he did not have any further update.

The Rangers protected their one-goal lead while playing with five defensemen in the final 9:29 of the third to defeat the Penguins 2-1 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round. The Rangers have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, which continues on Saturday with Game 2 at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA).

"Especially when you have a lead Danny is one of the guys you want on your side," Rangers center Derick Brassard said. "He's playing a lot of minutes with [Ryan] McDonagh and he's one of the guys that is going to be there in the last minute. He's a shutdown D-man. We hope he's going to be fine, but other guys in our lineup on defense they stepped up for the last 10 minutes and that's the depth we have on defense. We saw it [Thursday]."

Defenseman Marc Staal played five shifts totaling 6:07 in the final 9:29 of the game, including the last 2:45 of the game. McDonagh played six shifts totaling 4:04 after Girardi left.

"We were down to a few minutes in the game, gotta play with the players that's available and that's what we did," Vigneault said.

Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein did not play in Game 1 because of an arm injury and his status for Game 2 is unknown.


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