Marc Staal, the Rangers' stalwart blueliner and one of their alternate captains, will not be in the lineup tonight when the team plays its first preseason game against the Devils in Albany. But the Rangers are hoping he will be back in two weeks when the games count.

Staal, 24, -- who is entering his fifth year with the Rangers, and who makes up half of the Rangers' top defensive pair with Dan Girardi -- suffered a concussion after being hit by his older brother Eric on Feb. 22. He still is feeling the effects of the concussion, and the Rangers have been treading on the side of caution.

Who can blame them? Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion on Jan. 1 last season, and played just one game after that for the rest of the season, and might not be ready for the start of this season. The value Crosby has to the Penguins' offense is similar to that of Staal on the Rangers' defense, so rushing him back is clearly not in the team's or his plans.