Stepan Unlikely for Game 4; Brassard Will Play

After this morning’s practice, Alain Vigneault reported that Derek Stepan is unlikely to play in tomorrow night’s Game 4 after having a plate inserted into his jaw to help stabilize the fracture.

Stepan is currently still in the hospital recovering.

…earlier in the playoffs Ryan Getzlaf didn’t miss a game after breaking his jaw, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case here. In the past, players have missed 6-8 weeks after jaw surgery. Let’s just hope Stepan is a quick healer.

…one thing Rangers fans can hang their hat on is that Stepan was able to play through the pain in Game 3 and didn’t seem hampered by the injury, so I wouldn’t completely rule him out just yet.

So what do the Canadiens think about Stepan’s availability tomorrow?…

In some much better news, Derrick Brassard declared himself 100% healed from the shoulder injury he sustained in Game 1 and will be back in the line-up tomorrow night…

…obviously with Stepan’s availability up in the air, Brassard’s return is huge. Not sure the Rangers would be able to grind out a win without their top two centers. 

Chris Kreider was given a maintenance day today, but will play in Game 4.

During today’s practice, the lines were completely jumbled so I wouldn’t put too much stock into them…

Hagelin-Richards-St. Louis
Fast-D. Moore-Nash

…obviously, that’s not what the bottom two lines are going to look like tomorrow. With Kreider back in the line-up, I wouldn’t mind seeing Miller in between him and Nash with Moore back on the fourth line. AV would be taking a chance defensively with the Nash line, but I think they’d bring a lot offensively.

Meanwhile, Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that there’s no definitive word on whether Dan Carcillo will appeal his 10-day suspension.


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