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Rangers moves: Brassard in, Stepan likely out for Game 4

May 24, 2014, 12:31 PM EDT

Derick Brassard Getty Images

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final could be a good news/bad news one for the New York Rangers.

First the good news. Following practice at Madison Square Garden on Saturday morning, Rangers forward Derick Brassard said he’s good to go and will play.

Brassard has been out of action since early in Game 1 against Montreal after he took a big hit from Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver. Brassard left that game immediately and has been out of action since.

The bad news isn’t too surprising. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it’s unlikely forward Derek Stepan plays in Game 4 after he was injured on a late hit by Habs forward Brandon Prust.

Stepan broke his jaw on the hit and Vigneault said he missed today’s practice in the hospital recovering from surgery. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Stepan needed a plate inserted to stabilize his jaw.

Getting Brassard back with Stepan likely out is a turn of good news for New York as they were looking at the possibility of being without two of their top three pivots in Game 4. Brassard is likely set to return to his line with Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello. Dominic Moore may have to take Stepan’s spot on the top line between Rick Nash and Chris Kreider.

  1. c1md6 - May 24, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Still feel this is gamesmanship by the Ramgers and Stepan will play. He’s got a full day to rest with the 3 days. Also, he still logged 17:48 minutes of ice time after the hit which obviously he didn’t sustain a concussion and concussions are the biggest factor in keeping a player out when suffering a broken jaw not the actual fracture. I’d be surprised if he isn’t out there Sunday night in a cage.

    • sixchr - May 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Playing with a broken jaw and playing with a surgically repaired jaw are two different things. In my opinion, I just don’t know if he can bounce right back from surgery. If he does I’ll be surprised. Granted, hockey players tend to do the opposite of what a normal human being would do.

      • joey4id - May 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM

        One thing to consider also is the effects the anesthesia will have on the body parts. How long will it take for all body parts to return to normal?

  2. billiam55 - May 24, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Stepan hasnt missed a single game his entire 4 years hes been with us. No joke. Kid has heart. Getting Brassard back is huge btw.

  3. lennaykekua - May 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Bro, the guy had major SURGERY with a metal plate inserted in his jaw YESTERDAY. Gamesmanship? I don’t think so.

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