Beleskey was not penalized on the play, but Rangers coach Alain Vigneault thought there should have been a penalty called.
"In our opinion, it was a late hit," Vigneault said. "It was more than a second, and he was a couple of feet away from the boards, so we'll have to wait and see."
Vigneault, who coached the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, compared the Beleskey hit to the one for which former Canuck Aaron Rome earned a four-game suspension on his hit on former Bruin Nathan Horton during the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Horton suffered a concussion on the play in Game 3 and missed the rest of the series.
"I remember Aaron Rome in this building, .06 seconds late and getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup finals, so it'll be interesting to see. Step broke some ribs, and he'll be out indefinitely," Vigneault said.
A source told ESPN.com no league discipline is expected for Beleskey.
At 8:06 of the second period, Stepan had control of the puck in the New York zone and made a breakout pass before Beleskey hit him into the corner boards. Stepan remained on the ice as teammate Dylan McIlrath jumped in and dropped the gloves with Beleskey, who was not penalized for the hit. McIlrath received two minutes for instigating, five for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct.
"[McIlrath] was right there and probably saw it was a late hit, stepped in and protected a teammate that was probably in a vulnerable position," Vigneault said. A team trainer tended to Stepan before he skated off on his own. He remained in the game and played one shift in the third period before exiting.
After the game, Beleskey didn't believe it was a dirty hit. "I just think he didn't think I was going to hit him," Beleskey said. "He kind of didn't brace himself. I didn't take any extra strides or anything like that. Maybe, maybe a little bit late, but he saw me coming. I came from the front, and it's unfortunate he's injured, so hopefully, he's all right."