Habs’ Brandon Prust Has NHL Hearing To Review Late Hit On Derek Stepan

The intensity and hatred in the New York Rangers-Montreal Canadiens Eastern Conference finals was lacking until the first period of Thursday night’s Game 3.

The first incident was Canadiens forward Brandon Prust delivering a late, high hit on Rangers forward Derek Stepan. Prust answered for the hit a few minutes later by fighting Rangers winger Derek Dorsett, but he might face additional punishment from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the league will review the hit, and the DoPS confirmed Friday morning that Prust has a hearing to discuss it.

Prust was suspended one game in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals for an elbow to the head of New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov.

Prust’s latest hit, which can be seen in GIF form below, is a clear case of interference and should have been a major penalty. Since the referees missed it and no penalty was assessed, it would be a surprise if Prust wasn’t at least fined for this hit. Working in Prust’s favor is the fact that Stepan returned to the game later in the first period and didn’t appear to suffer any injury as a result of the collision.

854034659The other incident was Rangers forward Daniel Carcillo being ejected for shoving a linesman while Prust and Dorsett were fighting.

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It’s possible that Carcillo might have violated Rule 40.3, which states:

40.3 Automatic Suspension – Category II – Any player who deliberately applies physical force to an official in any manner (excluding actions as set out in Category I), which physical force is applied without intent to injure, or who spits on an official, shall be automatically suspended for not less than ten (10) games.

With third-line center Derick Brassard battling an injury, the Rangers’ bottom-six depth already is hurting. Losing Carcillo for any length of time would make that situation even worse. He’s not an impact player, but the veteran winger plays his role well.

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