Derek Stepan, who suffered a broken jaw on a late, high hit from Brandon Prust in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, traveled with the rest of the New York Rangers to Montreal, although it’s not yet known if he’ll play in Game 5 on Tuesday.
“I couldn’t say right now. If he does come back, it is my understanding that he’s going to need some facial protection, without a doubt,” said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault, as per The Star-Ledger.
“He’s made the trip with us, like Dan Carcillo. The only player we’ve left behind in New York is J.T. Miller. He’s got an upper body injury.”
Stepan didn’t play in Game 4 of the series, while Prust sat out as part of his two-game suspension handed down for the incident.
If Stepan were to get in the lineup, it’s difficult to say what kind of impact he would have, especially coming off such an injury. The 23-year-old center has had a solid playoff so far, with 11 points in 17 games.
Meanwhile, Carcillo was handed a 10-game suspension for physically abusing an linesman during a fight that occurred in the first period of Game 3, shortly after the Prust hit on Stepan took place.
Carcillo will appeal the suspension before NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The Rangers can close out the series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994.