The New York Rangers ended their three-game losing streak on Wednesday, but they nearly lost another top forward in the process.
Still playing without Rick Nash, who likely has a concussion, Derek Stepan was the victim of an open-ice collision with Washington Capitals forward Troy Brouwer. Although Brouwer asserted that the incident was accidental, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault believes otherwise.
Either way, Stepan fortunately feels “fine” and he doesn’t seem to be reading too much into the whole event.
“Yeah, it’s part of the game, it happens,” Stepan said, according to the Bergen Record. He added, “Obviously I never saw him coming. I can’t sit here and say if he did one thing or another. It happens, it’s part of the game. He said something to me on the ice that he didn’t see me. That’s part of it, whatever.”
Stepan went through the concussion protocol, but for now it sounds like that was a precautionary measure in his case.
No discipline for Troy Brouwer after hit on Stepan. The Department of Player Safety viewed the play as an accidental collision. #Caps#NYR
And now we wait for the other shoe to drop, because according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Anaheim Ducks have come to terms with defenseman Hampus Lindholm on a six-year contract extension with a cap hit of $5.25 million.
It’s a win for the Ducks, who succeed in their quest to get Lindholm locked up with a lower cap hit than the Sabres got Rasmus Ristolainen ($5.4 million).
Pastrnak was whistled for a minor penalty on the play, which occurred in the second period of Boston’s 5-2 loss at MSG on Wednesday night. Girardi left the contest momentarily, but was able to return and finished with 16:15 TOI.
“I don’t really know it makes contact with my face at first, but it is what it is, I’m kind of vulnerable,” Girardi said of the hit, per the New York Post. “He’s going to try to make a hit. He just hit me in the front of the face, so it wasn’t like it was the side-of-the-head hit or something.
“As soon as I got up, I was fine.”
Pastrnak, who did appear to leave his feet to make the hit, doesn’t have any history with the DoPS, and has never been subjected to supplemental discipline from the department.
His hearing will take place on Friday.
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