Stepan takes high road on Prust hit

Following a disappointing 3-2 overtime Game 3 defeat, Rangers center Derek Stepan took the high road regarding Brandon Prust’s late hit that sent him to the locker room in the first period. The questionable play came in the game’s first few shifts when the former Ranger came across and delivered a dangerous check that caught Stepan’s chest and made contact with his head.

When he left the ice, a furious Stepan let the referees know about it. He also had some strong words for Prust, who certainly got the Rangers attention. It was earlier in the series that he accused Chris Kreider of knocking out Montreal starting netminder Carey Price “accidentally on purpose.” With his team desperate to back in the game, Prust pushed the envelope by catching Stepan up high after the puck had been released. To get technical, it came nine tenths of a second late yet went undetected.

When asked about the severity of the hit, Stepan told a group of reporters he was mostly concerned about the head. He also noted that Prust got shoulder and that he was a bit vulnerable which resulted in contact to the head. There’s no question it came from the blindside. Before being asked whether the league should review it, Stepan was quick to point out that the main focus was on losing Game 3 and needing to respond Sunday.


About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.
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