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01-02-2012, 05:49 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: New York
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McDonagh's departure from the rink left the Blueshirts with six defensemen. That included Marc Staal, who slid into his old spot on Dan Girardi's left side for the club's line rushes. McDonagh has played in that spot this season while Staal has been sidelined by the after-effects of the concussion he sustained last Feb. 22.

Staal, who was cleared for contact last week, has been practicing with the club for two weeks. It would not be a surprise if the 24-year-old alternate captain is cleared to make his season debut for Thursday night's Garden match against the Penguins.
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The Rangers are playing the Panthers on Thursday at the Garden. They are at Pittsburgh on Friday.

Staal is very close. Bringing him back for the Winter Classic would have been insanity.

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