Marc Staal will play for the first time since Dec. 7 when the Rangers take on the Panthers in Florida tomorrow night.
“I talked to [head coach Alain Vigneault] and said I wanted to play and he said I’m in,” Staal said, per the Bergen Record. “(Missing time) sucks, it’s frustrating, you want to be out there helping the team win games.
“I’m excited to just get back out there and be a part of it on the ice again.”
Staal has missed the last 10 games with a concussion, suffered during a 4-3 overtime loss to the Devils after a crushing hit to the jaw from New Jersey’s Reid Boucher. It was the second concussion he’s suffered recently, having missed 36 games to start the 2011-12 season following a hit from his brother, Carolina captain Eric Staal.
Getting Staal back will be a big boost for the Rangers. They’re already without Anton Stralman and recently called up Conor Allen from the AHL (Allen, a rookie, made his NHL debut last game.) Staal was averaging 20 minutes per game prior to getting hurt, though he only had two points and one assist through 30 games.