Tampa Bay Lightning Injury Update: Nikita Kucherov not returning against Blackhawks

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov will not be returning to the Lightning lineup tonight as the team closes out their road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Tampa Bay Lightning came out on the short end of the stick Tuesday night as they fell 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues in the first of two games on the road. The Bolts surged late in the third period, showing signs of the team the Bolts Nation has come to know and love, but it was too little, too late for the Bolts to pick up the two points.

Tonight, the Lightning will make their way to the United Center where they will finish off their short two-game road trip with a battle against captain Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks. Regrettably, the Lightning will do so without the aid of one of their most powerful offensive assets.

According to Lightning Radio Analyst Caley Chelios, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper has stated Nikita Kucherov will not be cleared in time to rejoin the lineup tonight against the Blackhawks. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the end of the story.

Chelios went on to say Coach Cooper was not certain exactly how long-term the injury to Kucherov is. According to Lightning Beat Writer Bryan Burns, Cooper says Kucherov will need a few more days to recover. Whether this means Kucherov will be ready to rejoin the team on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks or if he will require a few more games is completely up in the air at this point.

As most fans here in the Bolts Nation know by now, Nikita Kucherov suffered an Upper-Body Injury late in the second period on Tuesday’s loss to the St. Louis Blues after taking a rather nasty hit from Blues forward Brayden Schenn. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the younger brother of Lightning defenseman Luke Schenn.

Nikita Kucherov is currently in second place on the team in terms of points. In the 18 games Kuch has played so far this season, he has brought home six goals and 12 assists for a total of 18 points. Kucherov is second only to Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who currently has seven goals and 13 assists for a total of 20 points.

Tonight is the first of two games the Lightning will play against the Blackhawks this season. The Lightning brought home victories in both games they played against the Blackhawks last season, so the numbers are definitely in their favor, but it will be one heck of a fight without a player like Kucherov in the lineup.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning is more than capable of bringing home a much-needed two points tonight in Chicago. The amount of talent on the team is almost astounding. The difference-maker in tonight’s contest will be whether or not the team builds from their loss on Tuesday night or if they fall back into old bad habits. The puck is scheduled to drop at 8:30 p.m. Let’s go Bolts!

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