Rangers' Stepan takes part in morning skate


The Sports Network

Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - New York center Derek Stepan took part in the morning skate and team doctors will determine if he can play when the Rangers take on the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night.

Stepan suffered a broken jaw when he was hit by Montreal's Brandon Prust in Game 3 and missed Game 4 as a result. Stepan, who underwent surgery to repair the damage, was wearing a full face shield Tuesday and was skating with his regular linemates Chris Kreider and Rick Nash.

"The only way he plays is if he gets medical clearance. It's not up to him," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Tuesday.

Stepan had never missed a game since joining the Rangers, owning a streak of 348 consecutive tilts that included the playoffs. He has three goals and eight assists in 17 games this postseason. In 82 regular-season games, he had 17 goals and 40 assists.

Prust was not penalized for the hit, but was slapped with a two-game suspension by the NHL that concludes after Game 5.

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