BOSTON -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan sustained broken ribs during the second period of a 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Friday and will be out indefinitely, coach Alain Vigneault said.
Stepan was injured 8:06 into the second period when he made a pass up the right side of the Rangers' zone and was hit on the forecheck by Bruins forward Matt Beleskey. Stepan hit the wall awkwardly and had to be attended to by a trainer. Stepan skated off and didn't miss a shift the rest of the second period, but he did not play in the third.
"We lost a really good player and a key player for us, and hopefully he's going to be back soon," Rangers forward Derick Brassard said.
Stepan has six goals and six assists in 23 games. He had 55 points in 68 games last season.
"I just think he didn't think I was going to hit him," Beleskey said. "He kind of didn't brace himself. I didn't take any extra strides. Maybe a little bit late, but he saw me coming. I came from in front. It's unfortunate, I think … he's hurt, so hopefully he's all right."
The Rangers used Kevin Hayes at center between left wing Chris Kreider and right wing Emerson Etem. Vigneault said they will decide later how to replace Stepan for the long haul.
"We're going to talk about that on the way home here," Vigneault said. "We've got another game [Saturday (against the Philadelphia Flyers)], so we'll focus on that and go from there."