Report: Rangers' Derek Stepan undergoes jaw surgery, Game 4 status unknown
Rangers center Derek Stepan underwent surgery on Friday for a broken jaw suffered a day earlier in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Canadiens, according to ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang.
The 23-year-old's status for Game 4 on Sunday night is unknown.
Stepan left Game 3 after former teammate Brandon Prust, now a member of the Canadiens, threw a shoulder at Stepan's head. Prust wasn't penalized for the hit, but is meeting with the league's Department of Player Safety Friday afternoon and is expected to be suspended.
Stepan yelled something toward the Canadiens bench, presumably at Prust, before leaving the ice at Madison Square Garden.
Rangers left winger Daniel Carcillo is also expected to be suspended after elbowing linesman Steve Driscoll after the play.
"There was an incident where Prust hit Stepan. That incident obviously, four referees missed the call. Stepan is injured," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault. "Same player that called [Chris Kreider's] hit on [Montreal goalie Carey Price] 'accidental but on purpose' late hit, everything you want to get out of the game, that was his hit on Stepan.
"What saddens me about that hit is if the call is made on the ice, we're on a five-minute power-play and what happened to Dan Carcillo — what he did was inexcusable and he's going to pay a big price for it — if the call is made on the ice he's not put in that position."
Stepan actually returned to the game after X-rays on his jaw came back negative, Strang reports. Vigneault said they'll have an update for Stepan on Saturday.SI WIRE: Report: Goalie Jaroslav Halak signs four-year, $18 million deal with Islanders