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Marc Staal’s concussion comeback keeps getting better

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Five

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers celebrates with teammate Anton Stralman #32 after scoring the winning a goal in overtime against Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2012 in New York City. The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals in overtime 2-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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It’s crazy to think of how wild Marc Staal’s season has been. He missed the first half of the season dealing with concussion-like symptoms stemming from a hit from his brother Eric Staal last season. He made his season debut on the big stage of the Winter Classic in Philadelphia and last night he scored the game-winning goal for the Rangers in Game 5.

As ESPN-New York’s Katie Strang hears it from Staal, the long road to recovery has been a fulfilling one for him.

“I’m certainly feeling better and better,” Staal said of his progress since making his long-awaited season debut in the Winter Classic on Jan. 2. “As the year has gone on, I’ve felt better and better. Playoffs are a lot of fun and I’m having fun with it.”

Staal’s minutes have been huge in the postseason. He’s averaging 25:20 in ice time, good for third on the team behind Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi. With two goals and three assists in the playoffs, he’s adding a little scoring punch to his defensive prowess as well. With how low scoring the Rangers are, getting five points from a blue liner makes for a great bonus.

Starting your season at the Winter Classic makes for a late beginning, but Staal would love to close the year out lifting the Stanley Cup. If he keeps playing like this, it might just happen.