Stepan's status uncertain

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
11:49
AM ET
Rangers forward Derek Stepan's status remains uncertain for Saturday; the 21-year-old center did not practice with the team Friday.

Stepan appeared to suffer a lower-body injury after a nasty knee-to-knee hit from Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik in the third period of the team's 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh. Although he was able to skate off to the bench on his own, he did not play for the remaining 4:39 of the game.

Coach John Tortorella said the team wanted to give him "a day off " but Stepan's good friend and teammate Ryan McDonagh indicated the injury should not be too alarming.

"He's a little sore, but I don't think it's anything too serious," said McDonagh, who rode to the rink with Stepan Friday morning. "I think it's just a matter of getting back to 100% "

Orpik, whose hit sent John Tortorella into a profanity-laced rant, received a kneeing major and game misconduct on the play. It does not appear he will face any sort of supplementary discipline.

Consistently scratched John Scott began Friday's practice skating as an extra forward but changed into a white jersey to plug Stepan's spot on a line with Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov.

Katie Strang covers the Rangers, Islanders and Devils for ESPNNewYork.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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