It's been a week since Derick Brassard was knocked out of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, but after practicing with the team on Saturday, Brassard declared he would be in for Sunday's Game 4 at Madison Square Garden.
Brassard: "I'm playing tomorrow."— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) May 24, 2014
Termed "day-to-day" by head coach Alain Vigneault, Brassard's injury was never revealed, while many speculated Brassard might have re-aggravated a back injury he was battling late in the regular season. The news could not come any sooner, as its unclear if Derek Stepan—who suffered a broken jaw during Game 3 and underwent surgery Friday night—will be ready to play on Sunday.
Brassard lasted one shift of Game 1 in Montreal before a check from Mike Weaver sidelined him for the remainder of the game, and the following two in the series. Dominic Moore was filling Brassard's spot on the third line in between Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot. The lines for Game 4 are not 100 percent clear yet, as while Brassard took his normal rush with his old linemates, Stepan's status complicates the depth chart.
Before going down with this injury, Brassard had four goals and three assists in 15 games, including two game-winning goals.
Game 4 will be played Sunday at 8 p.m. in Madison Square Garden, with the Rangers holding a 2-1 series lead over the Canadiens. As soon as an update on Stepan is available, we will update the situation.