Staal had a goal and an assist in Sunday's 5-2 Game 4 loss to the Bruins. Staal set up Brett Pesce for the game's first goal in the first period and gave Carolina a 2-1 lead by finishing off a pretty Nino Niederreiter feed from behind the net in the second, but it was all Boston after that. Staal has a goal and two assists through four games in this series, which is tied at two games apiece heading into Game 5 in Carolina on Tuesday.
Staal is in the projected lineup for Monday's Game 1 against Boston. Staal got the night off Thursday to rest his 33-year-old legs in the regular-season finale, but he's back in the lineup for the first game of the playoffs. Carolina's captain will return to his customary spot as the third-line center.
Staal (rest) will not play in Carolina's season finale Thursday against the Devils. Multiple Hurricanes will sit out Thursday in advance of the postseason, as they've already locked up the No. 1 seed. Staal finishes his 2021-22 campaign with 17 goals -- his most since 2017-18 -- and 36 points in 78 games. Perhaps most impressively, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native dished out a whopping personal-best 212 hits in his age-33 season.
Coach Rod Brind'Amour is "hoping and assuming" Staal, who's dealing with an upper-body injury, will be able to play Thursday against Winnipeg, Walt Ruff of the Hurricanes' official site reports. Staal missed Monday's win over Arizona with an upper-body issue, but his absence will presumably be limited to one contest. The 33-year-old forward has been red hot recently, having racked up eight goals and 10 points through his last seven appearances, so assuming he plays, he'll be an excellent option in daily fantasy contests against the Jets.
Staal (upper body) was labeled day-to-day by coach Rod Brind'Amour and won't be available versus Arizona on Monday, Sara Civian of The Athletic reports. Staal's absence will be compounded by the fact that Jesperi Kotkaniemi (undisclosed) is also unavailable against the Yotes. As such, Steven Lorentz of Derek Stepan will likely be slotted into the third-line center role alongside Nino Niederreiter and Jesper Fast. While Staal's power-play numbers have drastically dropped off (just two points this season compared to 14 the year prior), he remains a decent fantasy asset after reaching the 30-point mark for the 12th time in his NHL career.
Last 7 Games
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