Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Stepan 'Ok' in Season Debut

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Stepan 'Ok' in Season Debut

Article excerpt

TORONTO -- Derek Stepan knew beforehand it would take time to get his timing back after missing the season's first 12 games with an injured left leg.

He played 17:26 and was plus-1 with an assist and one shot, losing 13 of 19 faceoffs in his season debut Saturday.

"I was OK [Saturday]," Stepan said. "Some game decisions were a little slow. At times, I was sharp. I was actually surprised. There were times when I made the quick play and the patient play.

"I was just excited to get back out there."

Stepan was on the ice for three of the five first-period goals, two scored by the Rangers.

JUST A SCRATCH: Defenseman Dan Girardi escaped without serious injury after being cut by Nazem Kadri's skate blade in a potentially scary incident at 13:19 of the third period.

Girardi pushed the Maple Leafs' center to the ice while battling for the puck behind the Rangers' crease. …

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