Marc Staal's concussion believed not to be severe

Marc Staal skates wearing a visor against the

Marc Staal skates wearing a visor against the Washington Capitals during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Madison Square Garden. (May 6, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Marc Staal did suffer a concussion Saturday, but is "feeling better," coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Tuesday, and doctors believe it is not as severe as the concussion that sidelined the defenseman for 36 games to start the 2011-12 season.

Staal has spoken with neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher, who has examined and treated NHL players, including Rick Nash and Taylor Pyatt this season, but "doesn't feel the need to see [Staal] at this point [in Michigan]," Vigneault said.

Staal missed his second straight game after a third-period shoulder to the jaw from Devils forward Reid Boucher and is out indefinitely.

Fourth line is quiet

A revamped fourth line, which was expected to bring energy and some physical play, produced no shots.

Derek Dorsett, who said his sprained left wrist was feeling better than it had in a week, returned after missing three straight games and played 11:24 with three hits. He joined veteran Arron Asham, who was called up from Hartford on Monday and played 6:33. Center Dominic Moore returned after being a healthy scratch Saturday and played 9:25.

Benoit Pouliot and Taylor Pyatt were scratched, but one probably will replace Ryan Callahan, who sprained his left knee and will be out 4-6 weeks.

Without Callahan, "Everyone has to step up a little more," Dan Girardi said. "He brings a lot to the team, a lot of different characteristics."

 

"We've been advised by our doctors that they don't feel it's as serious as what he might have had in the past," Vigneault said. "We'll take it day-by-day,"

Initially, the team said Staal was having "neck issues" and experiencing "symptoms," and were taking precautions. The team will juggle its current six defensemen during the homestand, unless a call-up from Hartford is necessary, Vigneault said.

Blue notes

Rick Nash's goal was his 600th point and he led all skaters with five shots . . . Henrik Lundqvist is 4-7-1 at home . . . Girardi had four hits and leads the team with 79 . . . The Rangers host Columbus on Thursday and probably will face another backup goaltender, Curtis McElhinney. Sergei Bobrovsky is injured.

"[Maybe] playing two players that bring more of a physical bite,'' Vigneault said of Dorsett and Asham, "will make some other players compete at a higher level. I look at the Detroit Red Wings. They have no toughness, per se, as far as that type of personnel -- other than maybe [Jordin] Tootoo the last couple years, but he's gone now. But those guys play hard. They have the puck, and they say, 'Try and get it from me.' Or they don't have it and they battle like hell to get it back. They compete.""That's the team toughness that I'm hoping we would get here. Maybe we'll get there by changing some personnel and adding some more toughness. We're at .500. I'm trying."

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