NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Madison Square Garden was rocking Tuesday night — and then a frightening scene unfolded on the ice.
Rick Nash broke a third-period tie and added an insurance goal in the Rangers’ 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Any feelings of euphoria were greatly lessened because of concern regarding regarding key defenseman Marc Staal, who appeared to be struck in the right eye by a deflected puck 5:45 into the third.
“I just looked at it. It’s scary,” said subdued Rangers coach John Tortorella, who hadn’t gotten an update on Staal’s condition.
“It’s a tough, tough one,” said Nash. “We’re hoping the best for him, just hoping it’s not the thing we all think it is.”
New York is riding high on a three-game winning streak, but instead of being able to fully celebrate their good fortune and the improved play of their newest star, the Rangers are holding their breath as they wait for medical news on Staal.
“That was scary,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who thought the puck hit Staal flush on the eye. “He was in a lot of pain. It was tough to focus after that.”
Staal went down when a shot by Kimmo Timonen from the blue line clipped the stick of Flyers forward Jake Voracek and caromed up into his eye, causing a cut. Staal, who wasn’t wearing a visor, squirmed on the ice and held his face before skating off.
“You can feel that it took the life out of the bench a little bit and the whole crowd,” captain Ryan Callahan said. “It’s a scary moment.”
Defenseman Dan Girardi called it a “scary play to see.”
“I heard the shot and I heard him,” said Girardi. “A guy that’s in a lot of pain and that’s a big part of our team. I think he’s OK, I haven’t heard much. I’m going to check on him and hopefully he’s OK.”
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