Stepan to make season debut vs Toronto; Boyle could be a week from returning
After missing the first 12 games of the season, Derek Stepan is set to make his first start of the season tomorrow against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Stepan has been practicing in full contact drills and practices for the past few days, and head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed that Stepan will be returning.
Stepan will likely not be starting out on the top line however. That role will remain with Derick Brassard, who has 11 points in 12 games, and has been playing extremely well with Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis.
During practice, Stean was seen skating with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, which could certainly be the second line against Toronto.
The Rangers received some more good news when they discovered that Dan Boyle was recently cleared for contact in practice, meaning he is close to returning. Boyle said himself that “next week hopefully is realistic” for him to return to the Rangers lineup, and Vigneault said that “it would be a safe bet to say sometime next week he should be back in the lineup.”
Dan Boyle has not played since the season opener against the St. Louis Blues on October 8th, where he broke his right hand blocking a shot.
Boyle said that the only thing holding him back is some minor pain in his hand as well as working on getting it back to full strength.
Cam Talbot was first off of the ice in practice, meaning that he will get the start in Toronto. Talbot fared well against the Maple Leafs, winning both games that he played against them and allowing two goals combined in both of the games. Talbot was also put into the first game against Toronto this season in relief of Henrik Lundqvist, and stopped all 12 shots that he faced.
Talbot’s last start came on Monday against the St. Louis Blues, where he looked sharp, allowing 3 goals on 34 shots in an overtime loss.
Posted on November 8, 2014, in Rangers Updates and tagged Cam Talbot, Dan Boyle, Dan Boyle injury, Derek Stepan, Derek Stepan return, New York Rangers, NYR, Rangers, Rangerstown, Stepan in lineup, Update. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.