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Stepan in Rangers lineup for Game 5

by Dan Rosen

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is in the lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at Bell Centre after missing Game 4 following surgery to repair his broken jaw.

Stepan is wearing a plastic guard on his helmet to protect his jaw. He took line rushes with his usual linemates, Chris Kreider and Rick Nash, during warm-ups.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin did not participate in warm-ups and is not in the lineup for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nathan Beaulieu took Emelin's place.

Beaulieu played the first three games of the series but was a healthy scratch in Game 4.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-1 and can advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994 with a win.

Stepan's jaw was broken on a hit from Canadiens forward Brandon Prust 2:45 into the first period of Game 3 on Thursday. Stepan finished the game but had surgery Friday night after a CT scan taken that morning revealed a fracture.

Prust was not penalized for the hit by the on-ice officials, but he received a two-game suspension for interference by the NHL Department of Player Safety. He is serving the second game of his suspension.

Stepan, who has 11 points in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games, participated in the morning skate, but Rangers coach Alain Vigneault cautioned, saying he would not play in Game 5 unless he was medically cleared by the three doctors that traveled here with the Rangers.

Stepan can talk but he is on a soft diet, according to a Rangers spokesperson.

His ironman streak of 348 straight games ended when he missed Game 4 on Sunday. He had never missed a game in his four-season NHL career.

Emelin has no points and a minus-4 rating in the playoffs. He played 24:02 in Game 4 but missed a stretch of approximately 5:30 in the first period when he went to the dressing room after blocking a shot. The Canadiens on Tuesday said he had an injury they did not disclose.

Here are the lineups, using the lines and defense pairs the teams showed in warm-ups:


Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Rick Nash

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Martin St. Louis

Benoit Pouliot - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Brian Boyle - Dominic Moore - Derek Dorsett

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi

Marc Staal - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

Cam Talbot

Suspended: Daniel Carcillo

Injured: J.T. Miller (upper body)

Scratched: Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz


Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Dale Weise

Michael Bournival - Daniel Briere - Thomas Vanek

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Mike Weaver

Francis Bouillon - Nathan Beaulieu

Dustin Tokarski

Peter Budaj

Suspended: Brandon Prust

Scratched: Douglas Murray, George Parros, Jarred Tinordi, Travis MoenRyan White

Injured: Alexei Emelin (undisclosed)


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