NHL slaps Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov with one-game suspension

Aubrey Yates
April 14, 2019

Following Kucherov's boarding call, Anderson was called for roughing against Hedman and misconduct. Kucherov was the one to initially trip Nutivaara to the ice, and while Nutivaara attempted to regain his footing, he remained in a defenseless position until Kucherov drove him into the boards. The Department of Player Safety announced Kucherov will be suspended for Game 3 because of the hit.

Chirping and trash talking are part of sports, and there's no doubt frustration set in for the Lightning, which stunningly fell into a 0-2 hole in this-best-of-seven series ("A five-alarm fire", as coach Jon Cooper put it).

"Kucherov takes advantage of this situation to deliver a risky hit to a player in an exposed and defenseless position", the video stated.

He escaped a suspension for that controversial hit on defenseman Sami Vatanen, but it's possible this one could be considered more serious which could result in him missing Game 3.

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Matt Duchene's four points led Columbus to a 5-1 win in Tampa on Friday.

Kucherov was the top point-getter in the National Hockey League this past season with 41 goals and 87 assists.

After leading the league in points during the regular season, the Lightning are on the verge of a historically insurmountable first-round series deficit. "While we understand that frustration often occurs at the end of a game, risky or retaliatory plays delivered in the final minutes of a playoff game will be viewed in context and punished accordingly".

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