Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dalton Prout punch knocks Nikita Kucherov from game

It has been a rough week for NIkita Kucherov, who took an illegal check to the head by Boston's John-Michael Liles Tuesday.


It has been a rough week for NIkita Kucherov, who took an illegal check to the head by Boston's John-Michael Liles Tuesday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The NHL is expected to look into Sunday's sucker punch by Blue Jackets D Dalton Prout, who knocked Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov out of the game midway through the second period.

Kucherov was part of a scrum behind the net after a Nick Foligno tripping penalty on G Ben Bishop. Prout entered the fray and delivered a punch to Kucherov's head, receiving a two-minute roughing penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. The two continued to exchange words while in the penalty box, with Kucherov not playing another shift after serving his roughing penalty. Kucherov was evaluated during the game.

Coach Jon Cooper said he didn't think Kucherov's injury was a long-term concern, but he couldn't have liked how it happened. "That's a tough play," Cooper said. "It's out of my hands. I'm sure if there's something wrong with it, the league will look at it."

It has been a rough week for Kucherov, who took an illegal check to the head from the Bruins' John-Michael Liles on Tuesday. Liles had a disciplinary hearing but did not receive supplemental discipline.

MEDICAL MATTERS: C Valtteri Filppula was also hurt in the 4-0 win, suffering an upper-body injury in the first period, playing just 5:03. Cooper said he didn't think Filppula's injury was serious. But with C Cedric Paquette (lower body) missing the game, the Lightning's forward depth took a hit with 13 games to go in the regular season.

"Especially at this time of the year, you want guys to stay healthy," C Steven Stamkos said. "Hopefully it's not too bad on both (Kucherov and Filppula), cause they're huge parts of our team."

It was unclear if the Lightning would need a callup by Tuesday's game at Toronto. Two forwards were healthy scratches (Jonathan Marchessault, Erik Condra), and Paquette is day to day.

boos for BISH: Bishop got booed every time he touched the puck after a first-period Blue Jackets goal was waved off when Boone Jenner interfered with him. Bishop didn't mind the razzing.

"I love that stuff," Bishop said. "It's like college. It gets you going."

Bishop went down again in the second period, when Foligno tripped him behind the net, beginning a fun game-long battle between the former Ottawa teammates. "I played with him, so I was kind of messing with him," Bishop said. "I think I might have got him a little bit harder than I should have."

STEPPING UP: With Paquette out, F Mike Blunden was recalled and played Sunday. Blunden had performed well in a callup earlier this season, racking up two goals and four points with a plus-4 rating in nine games. Blunden had two hits and one shot in 10:05 Sunday.

"He really came up here and impressed," Cooper said. "He's got size, compete, kind of fills a role (Paquette) had for us. And he's earned his spot to be up here."

Blunden could play in his hometown Tuesday in Toronto.

Dalton Prout punch knocks Nikita Kucherov from game 03/13/16 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2016 10:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. LSU advances to College World Series finals, awaits Florida or TCU


    OMAHA, Neb. — Caleb Gilbert held No. 1 national seed Oregon State to two hits in 71/3 innings, Michael Papierski homered from both sides of the plate and LSU beat the Beavers 6-1 on Saturday to reach the College World Series finals.

    Beau Jordan celebrates after hitting a home run during a victory over Oregon State, LSU’s second straight win over the No. 1 national seed.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …