The Tampa Bay Lightning breathed a sigh of relief with the news that the injury suffered by star winger Nikita Kucherov is not serious. Kucherov left last night’s pre-season game, but he is expected to be ready to play on opening night of the NHL season.
Nikita Kucherov lower body injury not considered serious, more of a precaution. “He’s fine,” per GM Julien BriseBois. #TBLightning
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) September 26, 2018
Nikita Kucherov Injury Not Considered Serious
Kuherov left Tuesday’s game vs Florida Panthers in the first period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. According to Joe Burns of the Athletic, he was pulled for precautionary reasons.
Kucherov has spent his entire five-year career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has scored 147 goals and added 187 assists for 334 points in 365 career NHL games. He has also added 29 goals and 30 assists for 59 points in 60 career Stanley Cup Playoff Games. Kucherov was originally drafted in the 2nd round, 58th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Lightning.
Last season he scored 39 goals and 61 assists for 100 points in 80 games. He also added 42 minutes in penalties. Kucherov had seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games. His possession numbers were 53.6 percent Corsi-for with a relative Corsi of +3.0. Kucherov signed an eight-year, $76 million extension with the Bolts in July.
This could have been a huge blow for Tampa Bay. Kucherov is a two-time all-star who has led the Bolts in scoring with 79 goals in the past two seasons. Kucherov is a main part of the Lightning’s power play which was around 24 percent last season. The Lightning will look to get the majority of their scoring from Steven Stamkos and Kucherov again this season. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Lightning kept Kucherov out of the line-up until the regular season begins next week.
Main Photo: PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 22: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal against Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Consol Energy Center on May 22, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)