As expected, Rangers defenseman Marc Staal didn’t skate in the team’s playoff opener Thursday as he works his way back from a right eye injury sustained when he was struck by a shot from Philadelphia’s Kimmo Timonen on March 5.

"I take every day as it comes and I’m happy with the way it went [Thursday] and felt pretty good, so I’ll go through that again [today]," Staal said after participating in the team’s optional morning skate.

Staal is not sure when he’ll be ready to play, but it appears possible it will be before the end of this series.

"I’m not going to speculate on that relative to when it’s going to happen," he said. "When I feel like I’m going to be able to help the team win and be successful, then I’ll get back on the ice. Hopefully, that’s sooner rather than later."