Tampa Bay Lightning star forward Nikita Kucherov has been suspended for Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara during Game 2 Friday night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety made the announcement Saturday afternoon.
The incident occurred at 15:34 of the third period with the Lightning down 5-1. Kucherov was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct.
The Lightning, which had the NHL’s best record (62-16-4, 128 points) in the regular season, now will have to dig themselves out of an 0-2 playoff hole without the league’s leading scorer. Kucherov tallied 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists).
Game 3 of the series will be played Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.
—Field Level Media