Rangers get Staal, McDonagh back tonight versus Blues

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After a disappointing 5-2 loss in New Jersey on Tuesday, the Rangers will look to tighten things up defensively on Thursday when blueliners Marc Staal and captain Ryan McDonagh return to the lineup.

Staal missed Tuesday’s game after  “things locked up” in his lower back, per the Rangers’ website. McDonagh had missed the last two contests dealing with the after effects of a Leo Komarov elbow.

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McDonagh–who missed the last two games with a sore jaw and neck–was receiving treatment and unavailable to speak with reporters after the morning skate, but he, like Staal, took part in every drill and seemed without issue out on the ice. He also practiced on one of the power play units alongside Dan Boyle at the point, with J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast up front.

The other power play unit saw Keith Yandle, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello.

Head coach Alain Vigneault hoped the return of two of his regular d-men would alleviate some of the mistakes made against the Devils.

Staal did too.

“We gave up a lot of two-on-ones and breakaways (Tuesday), and it was just too wide open for how we like to play,” he said. “We’re going to try and get back on track tonight and play the way we know how to win.”