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Nikita Kucherov Will Be 'Out for a While' with Injury, Lightning HC Jon Cooper Says

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVOctober 18, 2021

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov will be sidelined in the immediate future because of an undisclosed injury.

"It's definitely not a day-to-day thing, so we'll wait until we get an official word, but he's definitely out," Lightning head coach Jon Cooper told reporters Monday. "He's going to be out for a while here. We're not going to put a timetable on it until we get an official word. In the short term here he's definitely out."

Any injury to Kucherov is sure to raise concern considering he missed the entire 2020-21 regular season with a hip injury. It ended his streak of six straight seasons playing at least 68 games.

However, the 28-year-old returned for the playoffs and helped lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup title with 32 points in 23 games. It was an impressive display after he missed the entire season and a reminder that he is one of the league's top playmakers when healthy.

Kucherov is a three-time All-Star whose resume includes a Hart Memorial Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award to go with two Stanley Cup titles.

The Russian has four points in three games this season.

While Tampa Bay is not as dangerous without Kucherov on the ice, look for Steven Stamkos and Corey Perry to see more time while he is sidelined.

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