May 23, 2014 5:20 pm
Updated: May 23, 2014 5:42 pm

Montreal’s Prust suspended two games for hit on New York’s Stepan


WATCH ABOVE: Canadiens forward Brandon Prust will have a hearing with the NHL over this massive hit he laid on Rangers forward Derek Stepan.

NEW YORK – The NHL has suspended Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust for two games for his hit on New York’s Derek Stepan in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.

The incident occurred at 2:45 of the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday. No penalty was assessed on the play

READ MORE: Drama escalates in Canadiens-Rangers series amid injuries and suspensions

New York coach Alain Vigneault provided the injury update the morning after his team’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.

The Prust suspension was announced on Twitter by the NHL department of player safety.

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The Canadiens forward blindsided Stepan with a late shoulder hit, leaving him lying face down on the ice about three minutes into Thursday’s game. There was no penalty on the play and Stepan returned to the ice later in the period after going to the dressing room.

“We looked at it,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of the hit.

“The referees missed it.”

A team spokesman said X-rays after the game were negative. But Stepan was in pain and saw a specialist Friday, when further tests detected the broken jaw.

Vigneault said he would know more about Stepan’s condition after the surgery.

READ MORE: Rangers’ forward Carcillo suspended 10 games for abusing official

The NHL called the interference a “late, violent hit,” noting Prust doesn’t commit to the hit until after Stepan has released the puck.

“What elevates this hit to merit supplemental discipline is its extreme lateness and the significant head contact that results from the way it is delivered,” the league said in a video decision on the hit

Prust is a repeat offender, having been suspended once before.

Habs forward David Desharnais called it a clean hit. He told reporters that while no one wants to see a player get injured, Prust was just trying to set the tone.

New York leads the series to two games to one.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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