Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Lightning

Lightning’s Jon Cooper expects Nikita Kucherov to play tonight vs. Avalanche

The right-wing left Game 3 against Colorado early after taking a cross-check to the back.
Lightning fans hold signs as right wing Nikita Kucherov is seen on the ice just prior to taking on the Avalanche in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Monday.
Lightning fans hold signs as right wing Nikita Kucherov is seen on the ice just prior to taking on the Avalanche in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final Monday. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Jun. 22|Updated Jun. 22

TAMPA — Lightning coach Jon Cooper said this morning he anticipates the same lineup for tonight’s Game 4 as he used for Game 3, meaning Nikita Kucherov will be in and Brayden Point will miss his second straight game. The Avalanche lead 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Final best-of-seven series.

Kucherov, who is tied for the league lead in scoring among active skaters this postseason with 26 points, left Monday’s game early after a cross-check from Colorado’s Devon Toews. Kucherov stayed on the ice for the power play but immediately skated to the bench and walked down the tunnel after taking a one-timer. He missed the rest of the game.

Point missed his first game of the series Monday. He played Games 1 and 2 in Colorado, making his return to the lineup after sustaining a lower-body injury in Game 7 of the first-round series against the Maple Leafs. He missed 10 games before taking the ice for the start of the Avalanche series, logging one assist in the series opener.

Related: Will this Cup final have a happier ending for Lightning’s Corey Perry?

Without Point, Riley Nash will draw in as the 12th forward, and it’s likely Corey Perry will take Point’s spot on the top power-play unit.

Cooper did not rule out Point for the remainder of the series.

• • •

Sign up for Lightning Strikes, a weekly newsletter from Bolts beat writer Eduardo A. Encina that brings you closer to the ice.

Never miss out on the latest with the Bucs, Rays, Lightning, Florida college sports and more. Follow our Tampa Bay Times sports team on Twitter and Facebook.

Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge