WASHINGTON - Defenseman Marc Staal, struggling with vision problems, did not dress for Game 5 Friday night and could not say when he might rejoin the Rangers lineup.
Staal, who played 17 minutes in Game 3, then pulled himself out of Game 4 after the morning skate Wednesday, said on the ice that day "it didn't go particularly well . . . as the day went on, I just couldn't see myself getting into a game situation.''
After Friday's practice, Staal, who was hit in the right eye with a puck March 5 and missed the first half of last season with post-concussion symptoms, did not specify the reason for his absence.
"I don't want to get into any detail of what happened, but I wasn't able to play," he said. "With this thing, kind of the way I've been dealing with it is, wake up in the morning and take it from there . . . I can't speculate one way or the other.''
Playing in Game 3 had no effect on his decision on Game 4, Staal said. "Like I said after the game, it went as I thought it would," he said. "Nine weeks off, a playoff game isn't easy. [But] with what happened in Game 3 -- the way I played -- didn't stop me from playing in Game 4.''
Steve Eminger, who replaced Staal in Game 4, filled in Friday night.
Brassard takes blame
Derick Brassard blamed himself on Mike Ribeiro's winner. "I got the rebound in the slot and tried to put it out there and gave it right away [to Mike Green]," he said. "They went D to D, they got a shot on net and a quick rebound and it's in the net." The puck deflected off Troy Brouwer and then Anton Stralman to Ribeiro . . . Matt Hendricks had seven of the 30 shots blocked by the Capitals, who outhit the Rangers 53-43.