Stepan fired a season-high 10 shots on goal and was rewarded with a pair of power-play assists in Thursday's loss to Carolina.
He also hit a post in an attempt to tie the game in the third period; so often, the difference between a nice game and a heroic one is an inch or two. Stepan has quietly been slumping for a while, as this was his first multi-point game since Jan. 17; in the 22-game interim, he recorded eight assists and zero goals. Indeed, since scoring twice against Dallas in the aforementioned mid-January game, Stepan has unleashed 61 shots on net without bending twine. With his career-low 6.9 shooting percentage, there are few players in the league more deserving of positive regression.
Stepan recorded an assist in a 5-2 loss to Columbus on Sunday.
The American center now has 43 points through 62 games, putting him on pace to reach his career high (57 points, 82 games). Stepan has fired 153 shots on goal so far this season, but he is known to make his money as a playmaker -- he's never had more goals than assists in a season. He's also proven he can also play a 200 foot game, recording a plus-15 rating this season, making him a very valuable forward in leagues of medium depth.
Stepan (hip) will be in the lineup for Tuesday's Original Six clash with Montreal.
After missing Monday's practice with the injury, Stepan was a full-participant in Tuesday's morning skate. The former Wisconsin standout will continue to center the Rangers' top line, flanked by Rick Nash and Jimmy Vesey.
Stepan injured his hip in Sunday's game and is probable for Tuesday's game against Montreal, Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post reports.
The center has a solid 42 points in 58 games this season, although he has been in a bit of a goal scoring slump, going goalless in his last 13 games. If he misses Tuesday's game, the league's highest scoring offense will be missing a key contributor, which could negatively impact Stepan's linemates Rick Nash and Jimmy Vesey.
Stepan added an assist in a 3-2 win against Columbus on Monday.
Stepan has been unable to find the back of the net in 11 games since Jan. 17, even though he's fired 23 shots on goal. The Minnesota native is definitely getting his opportunities, though, recording 18:57 on average in that span, as well as playing on the Rangers' top power-play line. Nevertheless, Stepan has always accounted for a majority of his points through assists, and he has five of those in the past nine games.