Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning top scorer Kucherov out hurt

Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov works to fight off a check along the glass against the Predators during the first period at Amalie Arena on Feb. 12.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov works to fight off a check along the glass against the Predators during the first period at Amalie Arena on Feb. 12.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Lightning was dealt a big blow Sunday when its leading scorer, RW Nikita Kucherov, missed the 4-2 win against the Hurricanes with a lower-body injury.

Kucherov, who got hurt in Saturday's game against the Penguins, was considered day to day. It was uncertain if he would be able to return by Tuesday's game against the Coyotes.

"Let's hope it's not too bad," coach Jon Cooper said. "I hope he can play Tuesday. If not, we've got to learn to play without some of these guys. Injuries happen. Hopefully when we get back (to Tampa), he's going to be evaluated and see how he is."

Kucherov is second on the team to C Steven Stamkos with 24 goals and has a team-high 49 points. He had played in every game this season and all 82 last season.

STEPPING UP: With Kucherov out, it was an opportunity for RW Jonathan Marchessault, who played with C Tyler Johnson and LW Ondrej Palat.

Marchessault is making it hard to take him out of the lineup, with four points in his past three games, including an assist Sunday in 17 minutes, 30 seconds of play. Marchessault has played in four straight games after sitting in 11 of 15.

"To play one game, it's hard, but when you get a few in a row, it's kind of fun to get your legs going," he said. "You're more used to the style. I know coach wants me to do more plays, so that's what I'm trying to do."

Marchessault knows playing time isn't guaranteed but earned. He entered Sunday tied for third on the team in goals per games played (.18) and third in shooting percentage (13.7).

"I've got to make it hard on them to take me out of the lineup," he said. "I was doing good, but it wasn't good enough. So I want to keep doing good, and hopefully one day I'll be more regular."

PAQUETTE OKAY: C Cedric Paquette was back in the lineup, an encouraging sign considering how bad it looked when he got hurt in Saturday's game at Pittsburgh. He took a shot off his left foot/leg and had to be helped off the ice.

BACK TO BEN: G Ben Bishop started, the second time this season he has played in both games in a back-to-back situation. The other time was Oct. 12 in Boston (a 6-3 win) and Oct. 13 in Detroit (a 3-1 loss).

NUTS AND BOLTS: D Matt Carle was plus-2 in 20:23, making him plus-7 in his past three games. … D Slater Koekkoek was a healthy scratch. … The Canadiens, Blackhawks and Sabres were slated to have representatives at Sunday's game. The trade deadline is a week from today.

Lightning top scorer Kucherov out hurt 02/21/16 [Last modified: Monday, February 22, 2016 12:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.
  2. Rays vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Orioles

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  3. Rays journal: Sergio Romo excited for fresh start in AL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Sergio Romo was about to play catch with LHP Adam Kolarek before Monday's batting practice when he paused.

    RAMOS EXITS: Rays catcher Wilson Ramos clutches his head after being beaned by Ruben Tejada’s broken bat in the fifth inning. Ramos leaves the game and receives six staples to close a laceration on his head.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    LHP Blake Snell stepped up when the Rays needed him to — and perhaps when he had to to keep his job — working a season-high seven plus innings. And it wasn't only that he got deep into the game, but how he did so, using his fastball to pound the strike zone.

  5. Urban Meyer says the Big Ten is now the equal of the SEC

    College

    CHICAGO — Ohio State coach Urban Meyer doesn't just believe the Big Ten has closed the gap with the more heralded SEC. He is convinced the race is a dead heat already.

    Ohio State’s Urban Meyer says the Big Ten East is as strong as the SEC East was when he coached UF to two national titles.