Updates from Tuesday, May 27
Seth Rothman of InsideHockey.com provides an update on Derek Stepan's status:
The Rangers Tweeted a photo of the mask:
Dan Rosen of NHL.com provides the Rangers' lines:
Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News has the latest on Stepan's status:
Rosen added more details on Stepan's status:
The Rangers' official Twitter feed added more thoughts from coach Alain Vigneault:
Andrew Gross of The Record later provided the final answer when tweeting out the Rangers lineup:
Updates from Monday, May 26
Andrew Gross of The Record updated Derek Stepan's status as the Rangers close in on a birth in the Stanley Cup final.
Updates from Sunday, May 25
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun provides a synopsis of Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault discussing Derek Stepan's injury status:
TSN's Darren Dreger previously confirmed Stepan had been released from the hospital:
Updates from Saturday, May 24
Katie Strang of ESPN has the latest on Derek Stepan:
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail and Arpon Basu of LNH.com provide comments from Brandon Prust:
TSN's Darren Dreger has more on the center's status:
ESPN's Craig Custance has more:
Derek Stepan crumpled to the ice on Thursday night after getting caught with a late check from Brandon Prust of the Montreal Canadiens. He managed to return to the game—won by the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime—but that hit could end up having a lasting impact in this series, as Stepan suffered a broken jaw.
His injury will require surgery. From the New York Rangers on Twitter:
SportsCenter reports that Prust has been suspended for the hit:
Somewhat surprisingly, the doctors cleared him to play after he went off the ice, per Darren Dreger of TSN:
That leaves some unanswered questions, per Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News:
And, as Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News notes, the hit was both illegal and dirty, and further punishment for Prust is in order:
Here's the hit in question:
Stepan's loss is a big one. The center has scored three goals, notched eight assists and is plus-one in 17 postseason games. The Rangers, who were at home Thursday night with a 2-0 series lead and a chance to close out the series in New York, lost Stepan for both the game and the foreseeable future.
Hockey players in the Stanley Cup playoffs rarely let injuries keep them down for too long, but it's hard to imagine Stepan returning for this series. Still, Stepan is a gamer—in his NHL career, Stepan has never missed a regular-season game. In a sport as physical (and sometimes violent) as hockey, that's pretty rare.
In other words, if anyone can return to the ice quickly, it's Stepan.