Rangers' Stepan will not play in Game 4, no timetable for return

by May 25, 11:36 AM
Andy Marlin / USA TODAY Sports

Debunking suspicions held by the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers announced that forward Derek Stepan will be absent from the team's lineup in Game 4. 

After the morning skate, head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed with reporters that Stepan was released from hospital the previous night, but would not be able to play on Sunday.

He added that Stepan does not have a timetable for return. 

May 29, 11:42 PM

Rangers' Stepan will be on liquid diet for 6 weeks after fracturing jaw in Conference final

by May 29, 11:42 PM
Jean-Yves Ahern / USA TODAY Sports

Upon advancing to the Stanley Cup final, New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan revealed he will be on a liquid diet for six weeks after fracturing his jaw earlier in the Eastern Conference final.

Amazingly, the 23-year-old only missed one game due to the injury, scoring two goals and registering five shots on goal in approximately 18 minutes of ice time per game.

If all goes well, perhaps Stepan will be able to take in a smoothie via the Lord Stanley's mug in a couple weeks.

May 27, 7:19 PM

Rangers' Stepan will play Game 5 vs. Canadiens less than a week after fracturing jaw

by May 27, 7:19 PM
Ed Mulholland / USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan is expected to play in Game 5 Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens, according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet.

Stepan also participated in pre-game warmups, as per the team's official Twitter account.

The 23-year-old sustained a jaw fracture in Game 3 on May 22, but was able to participate in the team's morning skate in Montreal and appears ready to go - or as ready as one can be with that type of injury.

In 17 playoff games prior to the injury, Stepan scored three goals and added eight assists with 38 shots on goal.

Update: Derek Stepan will indeed play Game 5.

Click here to read Justin Bourne's post "6 ways in which playing with a damaged jaw will affect Derek Stepan"

May 27, 11:37 AM

Derek Stepan takes line rushes with facial shield, needs medical clearance to play in Game 5

by May 27, 11:37 AM
Ed Mulholland / USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan seems poised to return from a jaw fracture sustained in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final for Game 5 on Tuesday night.

Stepan returned to practice with his Rangers teammates Tuesday at the Canadiens' practice facility in Brossard, Quebec, and was sporting a full face shield. You can check out the cumbersome equipment, which could mess with Stepan's ability to find the puck at his feet, in this photo from The York Times' Naila-Jean Meyers:

Stepan also returned to his usual spot in the Rangers lineup, centering Rick Nash and Chris Krieder during line rushes. While it sure looks like Stepan is going to play in Game 5, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't confirm his status during his post-practice media availability. "Lots of things have to happen for [Stepan] to play tonight," Vigneault said per Julie Stewart-Binks of Fox Sports 1.

May 26, 6:53 PM

Rangers won't rule out Derek Stepan for Game 5

by May 26, 6:53 PM

New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault isn't ruling Derek Stepan out of Game 5 Tuesday in Montreal, despite the fact the injured forward recently underwent surgery to repair a broken jaw.

Vigneault did, however, go as far as to suggest that Stepan would require "some facial protection" if he were to play.

With the Rangers one win away from the Stanley Cup final, Stepan may remain sidelined for the time being. But at present, it appears as though the door remains slightly ajar for his return in Game 5.

May 26, 2:25 PM

Report: Rangers' Stepan will accompany team to Montreal for Game 5

by May 26, 2:25 PM

New York Rangers center Derek Stepan - who sustained a broken jaw in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final when he was checked illegally by Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and did not play in Game 4 - will travel with the team to Montreal on Monday, according to Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record.

Travelling with the club is one thing, being cleared to take contact and return is another entirely. Stepan should probably be considered "doubtful" for Game 5, even if he is accompanying the team to Montreal.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is scheduled to meet with the media at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, and he'll likely offer an update on Stepan's status then.

May 25, 10:42 AM

Report: Rangers' Stepan released from hospital, 'very unlikely' to play Game 4

by May 25, 10:42 AM

Despite remaining absent from team activity, the New York Rangers received positive news regarding the status of injured forward Derek Stepan. 

His availability for the remainder of the Eastern Conference finals remains in question after being blindsided by Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust and reportedly requiring surgery to mend a fractured jaw. 

Dreger later tweeted that the Ranger forward is "very unlikely" to join New York's Game 4 lineup, but the Canadiens, who have their doubts regarding the extent of Stepan's injury, certainly wouldn't be shocked to see him Sunday night.  

May 24, 12:13 PM

Rangers' Stepan had surgery to stabilize jaw, unlikely to play in Game 4

by May 24, 12:13 PM

For the next two games, Canadiens forward Brandon Prust will be seated in the press box after launching his shoulder into the face of Derek Stepan, and ultimately breaking the talented forward's jaw.

Once it was revealed that Stepan would require surgery to stabilize the fracture, one would assume that Prust would return to the series far before his victim.

But as TSN's Darren Dreger points out, that's not necessarily the case. 

After Saturday's practice, Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wasn't overly optimistic but didn't rule out Stepan's availability. 

Should Stepan feature in New York's Game 4 lineup, the incident won't come without minor recoil; Dan Carcillo was suspended 10 games for shoving an official while searching for retribution on Prust.