Nikita Kucherov injury update: Tampa Bay Lightning star will not play Thursday due to upper-body injury

Sporting News

Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov will not play against the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday due to his upper-body injury.

Kucherov, 26, left Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Blues late in the second period after he was hit by Brayden Schenn. Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said that the injury is not concussion-related, but no more specific are known about the forward's condition as of Nov. 21.

Schenn issued Kucherov a blindside hit as the Russian goal-scorer backhanded the puck at the Tampa Bay blue line during Tuesday's game.

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A crowd gathered around Schenn after the hit and Tampa Bay's Erik Cernak was ultimately issued two roughing penalties for seeking retribution on Schenn. Schenn himself was given a two-minute minor for roughing Kucherov on a late hit.

Head coach Jon Cooper said after the game that Kucherov's injury was not related to a concussion, but Kucherov was not able to return after he skated off the ice on his own.

The 26-year-old has 18 points in 18 matchups after Tuesday's game.

Losing Kucherov, the reigning Hart Memorial Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner, would prove a major blow to a Tampa Bay team still on the wrong side of the Eastern Conference's playoff picture.

The Blues defeated the Lightning 3-1 on Tuesday.


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