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Rangers may get Stepan, Klein back Friday

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Forward Derek Stepan and defenseman Kevin Klein could return to the New York Rangers lineup as early as Friday at the Winnipeg Jets.

Stepan (broken ribs) and Klein (strained oblique) practiced Wednesday, according to Blueshirts United.

Coach Alain Vigneault did not rule either out of playing Thursday at the Minnesota Wild but said Friday would be more realistic.

"I would say [Stepan] is ahead of [Klein] at this time," he told the website.

Stepan hasn't played since he was injured Nov. 27 against the Boston Bruins.

"I think we will stick with day-to-day, need to see how it reacts (after taking contact Wednesday)," Stepan said. "We are pushing it more each day, see how I feel tomorrow."

Klein has been out since Nov. 30, when he was injured against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I didn't do much the first 10 days, but then I was on the bike and skating pretty hard," Klein said. "I think the conditioning will come pretty quickly."

Stepan has six goals and six assists in 23 games. Klein has three goals and three assists and leads the Rangers at plus-11 in 25 games.

Defenseman Dan Girardi (knee) will not travel to Minnesota or Winnipeg after he was scratched from a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

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