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Marc Staal praises ex-Ranger teammate Rick Nash upon retirement

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and Rick Nash on

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and Rick Nash on April 27, 2014. Credit: RAY STUBBLEBINE

Former Rangers forward Rick Nash, 34, retired from hockey on Friday because of unresolved post-concussion issues, according to his agent, cutting short what had been a highly productive career.

Marc Staal, a teammate for Nash’s entire time in New York, said after Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Islanders, “He was a great player for a really long time and I was lucky to be his teammate for five or six years.

“He had a quiet confidence about him and he was just a real good guy. He was fortunate to play as long as he did and as hard as he did, the way he went to the net. He can walk away from the game with his head held up high for sure.”

After starring in Columbus, Nash was traded to the Rangers in 2012 and spent six seasons with the team, including its run to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. He last played for the Bruins.

Nash finished his career with 437 goals and 368 assists in 1,060 regular-season games.

Rangers coach David Quinn said: “It’s too bad his career ended the way it did. I thought he had a lot of hockey left in him.”

Notes & quotes: The Rangers now have won games in four boroughs, with Brooklyn joining Manhattan, the Bronx (Yankee Stadium) and Queens (Citi Field) . . . D Fredrik Claesson left Saturday’s game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury after a collision with the Islanders’ Matt Martin. Said Quinn, “It doesn’t look good.” . . . Chris Kreider spent extra time on the bench in the second period after committing a bad penalty. “You can’t take offensive-zone penalties,” Quinn said. “It’s been a problem for us.” . . . Quinn said he does not expect Kevin Hayes to be ready to play Sunday in Columbus.

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