New York Rangers fans can exhale with news that young winger Chris Kreider is OK after receiving a big hit from Brooks Orpik in the third period of Sunday's 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He appears to be alright, with no lingering effects, and returned to practice with the team as scheduled.
Chris Kreider on the ice in a regular practice jersey so he's good to go.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) January 22, 2013
Kreider explained that he has had previous jaw issues — he broke it after taking a puck to the face from a teammate during his sophomore year at Boston College — and that his TMJ joint spasmed after the hit.
The 22-year-old rookie was also seen practicing on the second line with Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan in practice.
Kreider said no concussion test was necessary, and joked that Orpik likely learned to hit like that at Boston College, where they both attended school.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella endorsed the hit as clean, and that it's a lesson for the youngster to keep his head up.
The good news for the Rangers is that Kreider isn't hurt and is expected in the lineup tonight against the Boston Bruins.
In other news, Aaron Asham may miss tonight's game with a groin injury. Expect to see Stu Bickel moved to the fourth line, and Steve Eminger to make his Blueshirts debut at the blue line.Aaron Asham, Boston Bruins, Boston College, Brad Richards, Brooks Orpik, Chris Kreider, Hockey, John Tortorella, Marian Gaborik, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Rick Nash, Steve Eminger, Stu Bickel