Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherov left Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury after he was hit by Brayden Schenn.
The hit came with roughly three minutes left in the second period. As Kucherov backhanded the puck up the ice at the Tampa Bay blue line, Schenn glided into him from Kucherov’s blindside — dumping the Russian goal-scorer to the ice.
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.