NEW YORK, N.Y. - Rangers forward Derek Stepan has a broken jaw and is undergoing surgery following a hit by Montreal's Brandon Prust during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault made the surprising announcement Friday on the first of two off days in the series New York leads 2-1. Prust wasn't penalized in the first period of Montreal's 3-2 overtime win Thursday night, but he faces an NHL hearing Friday and a possible suspension.
Stepan had X-rays Thursday night that were negative, and he returned to the game. He was in pain after the game and on Friday morning.
Further tests after a visit to a specialist revealed the fracture. Vigneault says his playing status for the rest of the series will be determined after surgery.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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