New York Rangers center Derek Stepan took an ugly hit from Montreal Canadiens’ Brandon Prust on Thursday night. Stepan was cleared to return to Game 3 after a negative x-ray and played the remaining two periods. Further tests taken on Friday revealed that he had a fractured jaw.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault announced the injury to the media, confirming that surgery was necessary:
“Step right now, at this time, is probably getting operated on,” Vigneault said. “He broke his jaw yesterday, so we’ll have an idea of the time frame tomorrow.”
Playoff injuries aren’t usually disclosed throughout the NHL in such detail. However, Prust is undergoing a phone hearing today in regards to the hit. An unlikely coincidence, Vigneault obviously wants the repercussions of the hit to influence the league’s decision.
No timetable has been given for Stepan’s return, though it’s likely that he has seen the end of this playoff season.