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Dan Girardi was forced out by post-concussion symptoms

New York Rangers' Dan Girardi, right, and Marc

New York Rangers' Dan Girardi, right, and Marc Staal watch the final seconds tick off the clock during the third period of Game 5 in a first-round NHL playoff hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 23, 2016. Credit: AP/ Gene J. Puskar

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Veteran Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said Tuesday that “he didn’t feel like myself” during Game 1 of the playoffs in Pittsburgh, and suffered a relapse of post-concussion symptoms that caused doctors to shut him down from Game 2 through Game 4, retunring for the series-ending Game 5.

“I had a concussion late in the year,” Girardi, who was sidelined for the final two regular-season games, revealed on the team’s breakup day. “I felt good going into Game 1, but throughout the game I didn’t really feel like myself, I didn’t feel great. I finished the game and talked to the doctors, and some of the symptoms came back. So they stopped me from playing. You saw me skating every day, but I was . . . still having headaches and stuff. Right around Game 4, I started feeling a lot better on the ice and felt good enough to play Game 5. I feel fine now.”

Girardi, who has played 725 regular-season games and 110 playoff games since 2006-07, and is part of the core of the current team, already had been playing with a small crack in his right knee. “It definitely was a long year,” he said. “If I could go back, I’d probably try to take some more time off, but a lot of you guys know I’m not that guy who’s going to just not play. Missing six games this year was a lot for me. Going forward, if something’s wrong, I’ve got to take the time to relax and recuperate.

Girardi, who has four years remaining on his contract, understands that things could change in the team’s summer retooling, but that’s out of his control. “Not much has been discussed,” he said. “This year wasn’t the best for me and the whole team; 100 percent, I think I can be the player I was in the past. I’m using this summer to be ready. This is a turning point for me.”

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