Rangers vs Montreal

Derek Stepan Practices With Jaw Guard, Will Likely Play Tonight

A day after the media speculated that Derek Stepan (broken jaw) was doubtful for tonight’s Game 5, he took line rushes with Rick Nash and Chris Kreider at this morning’s skate and will likely be in the line-up.

Alain Vigneault did caution that Stepan will not play unless he receives medical clearance from the Rangers doctors and that the decision is not up to his center iceman.

Here’s a pic of Stepan with jaw guard…

banestepan

Ok, here it is…

stepanjawguard

…i friggin’ love hockey players!!! If a baseball player had the same surgery they wouldn’t even be contemplating getting out of bed, let alone playing in a game three days later. Stepan = warrior.

…i never like hearing a player’s status is in the hands of the Rangers medical staff. They’ll probably just prescribe him a pain pill and say he’s good to go. You know, like they used to do with Boogaard.

…it’s also amazing how the return of one player can put a line-up that was in flux yesterday back to regular working order.

Here were the lines at practice…

Kreider-Stepan-Nash
Pouliot-Brassard-Zuccarello
Hagelin-Richards-St. Louis
Boyle-D. Moore-Dorsett

Meanwhile, in other injury news, Katie Strang at ESPN.com reports that JT Miller could be available if this series is extended as his shoulder injury is not considered serious.

…while great to hear, if the rest of the line-up remains healthy it really doesn’t matter as Miller will likely have a permanent seat in the press box.

Kevin

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