Ducks winger Chris Stewart was sent back Anaheim Friday and will undergo tests to determine whether or not he broke his jaw in a fight with Columbus’ Dalton Prout. Stewart and Prout fought to end the second period, and Stewart did not return to the game.
Anaheim Ducks winger Chris Stewart is a tough customer. No one would question that. The only problem for Stewart is Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout is just as tough, and he can pack one solid punch. Stewart may have found that out the hard way.
During Thursday night’s tilt between the Ducks and Blue Jackets, Prout and Stewart got into a tussle as the second period came to a close. The fight, which lasted about 30 seconds, saw both combatants land a number of good shots, but you can see Stewart start saying something to Prout after he lands a solid shot around the 36-second mark. The fight broke up shortly thereafter and both men headed off the ice:
But when the third period began, Stewart was nowhere to be seen. Turns out the fight with Prout may have cost Stewart more than five minutes in the penalty box, as the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephen’s reported Friday that Stewart has flown back to Anaheim with a “suspected broken jaw” and will undergo an exam Sunday.
The timing of the injury couldn’t be much worse for Stewart, either. He only has eight goals and 18 points through 47 games this season, but two goals and six of his points have come in his past nine games. Not bad for someone averaging less than 11 minutes per game, either.
Losing Stewart for an extended period of time — and a broken jaw could mean he’s out for several weeks — shouldn’t hurt the Ducks too much, and will give Nick Ritchie, the Ducks’ first-round pick in 2014, a chance to get back into the lineup. Ritchie was called up from AHL San Diego Friday, which coincides with the news that Stewart is headed back to Anaheim.