ST. LOUIS — Nikita Kucherov left Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis after a big hit from Brayden Schenn.
Kucherov passed the puck and turned right into the oncoming Schenn, who blasted Kucherov right off his feet. Kucherov landed hard on his back and was slow to get up.
While Erik Černák threw himself at Schenn and a scrum broke out, Kucherov made his way to his feet. The reigning Hart Trophy winner hunched over, stayed out of the scrum, and made his way to the tunnel. He went to the dressing room with 2:03 left in the second period and did not return.
Coach Jon Cooper did not have an update on Kucherov’s upper-body injury after the game. He hopes it will not be a concern going forward. Cooper said Kucherov being unable to return was not related to concussion protocol.
Meanwhile, the Lightning were outplayed by the defending Stanley Cup champions. They fell to the Blues 3-1 in a game more lopsided than the score.
“We played poorly,” Cooper said. “That was it.”
Anthony Cirelli struck first, banging home a quick goal just outside the crease on a centering pass from Alex Killorn. Not much went well after that power-play goal with 2:24 left in the first period. The Lightning put eight shots on net in that first period, and totaled just 10 more the rest of the game.
“I don’t know what else to say anymore,” Pat Maroon said. “We have to better. You have to figure out how to limit turnovers, manage the puck better.”
St. Louis scored in each other latter periods, first tying the game up late in the second period on a goal out front from David Perron. Then they took the lead early in the third period on a goal from the right circle by Oskar Sundqvist. Jaden Schwartz landed an empty-netter in the final seconds.
Andrei Vasilevkiy made 31 saves on the 33 shots he faced in the game.