Rangers defenseman Marc Staal scratched from Game 4, but no reason is given

Marc Staal warms up before Game 3 of

Marc Staal warms up before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. (May 6, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

In a surprise, defenseman Marc Staal, who returned Monday for Game 3 and played more than 17 minutes in the Rangers' 4-3 victory, was scratched last night.

"It's an honest, humble decision by him knowing he didn't want to put the team in jeopardy. It takes guts to do that," Ryan McDonagh said.

Staal, who was struck in the right eye by a deflected puck on March 5, was still experiencing some blurred vision and has said that if he was not comfortable on the ice, he would not dress and hurt the team.

In an interview on Tuesday, Staal said he was sore but felt good after the game, his first after missing 29. It also was possible that a different injury kept him out.

Clowe back in lineup

Left wing Ryane Clowe dressed for his first playoff game as a Ranger and recorded an assist on Carl Hagelin's second-period goal that made it 2-0.

Clowe, who played 12:19 and had four hits, appeared in his first game since taking a big hit from Carolina's Bobby Sanguinetti on April 25, the next-to-last game of the regular season. It is believed he suffered a concussion and leg injury, but the team does not disclose details on injuries.

"I've noticed improvements," Clowe said before the game. "There might have been a couple of setbacks but you just try to keep moving forward." Clowe, who will be a free agent after the season, was 3-5-8 in 12 games after being acquired from San Jose. He was a solid playoff performer with 18 goals and 27 assists in 68 games.

Powe out of lineup

Darroll Powe, who left Game 3 woozy Monday night after being struck by Joel Ward's elbow in a first-period collision, was scratched. Powe had seven hits in 8:02 during Game 2.

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