"We have reviewed the play and have communicated to [Penguins general manager] Ray Shero that Jordan Staal is available to play tonight," NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell told the website Wednesday.
Staal caught the unsuspecting Prust with a quick left to the face during a scrum in front of the benches in the second period and gave the Rangers a long power play that produced the tying goal. Staal was given a match penalty for attempting to injure Prust and was ejected. Prust was injured briefly, but returned to the game in the third period.
Even with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin sitting out because of injuries, and the loss of Staal, the Penguins managed to pull out a 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers on Tuesday night in both teams' return from the All-Star break.
"I've never seen him do anything like that," said Staal's brother, Marc, a Rangers defenseman. "Sometimes when you play each other so many times in one season, things escalate. It looks like that's what happened here, although I didn't see it at first. I've never seen him get thrown out of a game like that."
"I think it was just all reaction," Prust told reporters. "I came in and hit a guy, he kind of came in to stick up for him. He just threw a punch and happened to connect."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.