Marc Staal D NYR 4 Months

Marc Staal has one year left on his current contract.

He would like to get something worked out this summer, but added that it wouldn't be a big deal if it didn't happen. Staal appeared in 72 games during the 2013-14 campaign after he was limited to 21 during the lockout-shortened season and 46 outings the year before.

Marc Staal D NYR 5 Months

Coach Alain Vigneault has been impressed by Marc Staal.

"I think he's a guy this year that has improved throughout the year," Vigneault said. "We always knew he was a good defender and he's still one of the best defenders in the league in my opinion but he's also, this year, he's improved his puck decisions." He's played well on a pairing with Anton Stralman. Staal has two points and a plus-7 rating in eight games during this playoffs.

Marc Staal D NYR 5 Months

All the pregame attention in the New York media went to defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi, who were assigned to bottle up Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Game 1 of the Penguins-Rangers second-round playoff series, won 3-2 by New York in overtime.

But Marc Staal wound up as the stalwart of the blue line, playing a team-high 26:03 that included 4:41 shorthanded to keep the Penguins scoreless on four power plays. "The way he keeps the game so simple is something we talk about every time," Benoit Pouliot said. "Get that big block or make that pass, he's always going to be in position to help us out. Sometimes you don't recognize it, but we do." Coach Alain Vigneault also praised Staal. "He's got one of the best sticks in the league; he did a good job gapping up. Him and Strallsy [Anton Stralman] have found a way to complement each other."

Marc Staal D NYR 5 Months

Marc Staal opened the scoring on Sunday with his first goal in the playoffs.

Staal now has two points in five games. He was also a plus-two in the game to increase his total to plus-six in the series which is third best in the NHL thus far.

Marc Staal D NYR 5 Months

Marc Staal is a series leading plus-four in the playoffs.

The Flyers Claude Giroux is right behind him in the New York-Philadelphia series at plus-three. Offensively it has been another story as Staal has only one assist in four games.

Marc Staal D NYR 7 Months

Marc Staal does not want the contract distractions he saw happen with Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan to happen to him next season.

Staal has one more season left on his contract but found it distracting to play with all the rumors swirling around Girardi and Callahan. "I saw those two guys go through it with the negotiations and all of the rumors that are impossible to avoid if you're on the last year of your contract, and it's not something I really want to go through," Staal said. "For me, the contract situation is definitely something I would like to take care of over the summer. That's the goal, but that also has to be the way management looks at it, too, in order to get it done." Stay tuned.

Marc Staal D NYR 7 Months

Marc Staal (back) took part in Wednesday's practice.

Barring a setback, Staal will be good to go on Thursday. He missed a few practices due to back spasms.

Marc Staal D NYR 7 Months

Marc Staal (back) skated on Tuesday after missing three straight practices.

Staal isn't ready to declare himself ready for Thursday's game. He first wants to see how he does in Wednesday's full practice.

Marc Staal D NYR 7 Months

Marc Staal has missed three straight practices due to back spasms.

Staal remains day-to-day and questionable for Thursday's contest. He has three goals and 11 points in 49 games this season.

Marc Staal D NYR 7 Months

The New York Rangers could be without defenseman Marc Staal when they return to action league action against the Chicago Blackhawks next Thursday night.

Staal has been out of practice in recent days with back spasms.