NEW YORK -- Defenseman Marc Staal and forward Darroll Powe, neither of whom has played for the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Boston Bruins, were among 14 players who participated in an optional team skate Tuesday. However, it remains unlikely either will play in Game 3 Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
Staal played 17:17 in New York's 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series but has not played since. Following an optional skate that wasn't overly strenuous, Staal's locker stall remained mostly empty.
Powe hasn't played since a collision with Washington's Joel Ward in Game 3.
"I feel good," Powe said. "It's good to be back out on the ice skating with the guys. I'm just trying to do skating, work out and try to get back in the lineup. It's all part of the process, just getting back on the ice and playing hockey again. That's where I'm at right now."
With forward Ryane Clowe also out of the lineup, it appears Rangers coach John Tortorella will field the same lineup he used in a 5-2 loss to Boston in Game 2 on Sunday. Kris Newbury and Micheal Haley, who have combined to play 5:24 so far in the postseason, participated in the skate and potentially could add some size and toughness to the lineup should they be called upon.
Though Tortorella likely won't have Staal, he said he is expecting a big game from one of his other top defensemen.
Dan Girardi suffered through a lackluster performance in Game 3; he was on the ice for all five Boston goals and posted a minus-4 rating.
"Haven't even talked to him. He'll be fine. He'll play his best game," Tortorella said. "I don't have to say one word to Dan Girardi. With Danny, he is one of the better defensemen in the National Hockey League who had a tough night. He knows he doesn't need to hear from any coach as far as what needs to get done."
Here is the Rangers' projected lineup for Game 3:
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Mats Zuccarello - Derick Brassard - Rick Nash
Taylor Pyatt - Brian Boyle - Derek Dorsett
Chris Kreider - Brad Richards - Arron Asham
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Anton Stralman
John Moore - Steve Eminger
Scratched: Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley, Matt Gilroy, Roman Hamrlik
Injured: Marc Staal (eye), Darroll Powe (undisclosed), Ryane Clowe (undisclosed)