New York Rangers center Derek Stepan will require surgery to repair a broken jaw which he suffered during last night’s game against the Montreal Caanadiens. Stepan was injured on a hit by Brandon Prust in the first period.
Alain Vigneault said Derek Stepan is having surgery for a broken jaw on hit from Prust.
— Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) May 23, 2014
Stepan, reportedly, was given x-rays after the hit which revelaed no damage, allwoing him to return to last night’s game, a 3-2 Canadiens victory, but tests today revealed that Stepan suffered a fracture on the play which could sideline him, but there is no timetable yet for his return to action.
Prust, a former Ranger, was not penalized on the play, but the hit was clearly late and he is scheduled to meet with NHL officials about the incident at some point today. It is possible that he could be suspended for the hit.
If Stepan is to miss time it will certainly be a blow to the Rangers. He has centered the team’s top line for the majority of the season, setting a career high with 57 points this season. He has also tallied 11 points in 17 games this postseason for a Rangers squad which was having trouble scoring for much of the post season.
It is likely that if Stepan is inactive on Sunday both Jesper Fast and JT Miller could dress for the Blueshirts in game four, with the Rnagers needing to replace both Stepan and Daniel Carcillo, who received a ten game suspension for an altercation with a referee after he was assessed a penalty. Incidently, that penalty seemed to be in response to Prust’s hit on Stepan. If Stepan is able to go it will be interesting to see who coach Alian Vigneault chooses to replace Carcillo in the lineup, but I’d lean towards Fast who has appeared in three games this postseason.