Kucherov suspended 1 game for boarding

Silvia Morton
April 15, 2019

The NHL has suspended Tampa Bay Lightning's forward Nikita Kucherov for one game.

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Sunday in Columbus.

Tampa now is fighting from behind, with the Blue Jackets taking a commanding 2-0 series lead in Friday night's Game 2 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety made the announcement Saturday afternoon. As the Blue Jackets defenceman tried to get back on his feet, Kucherov hit him into the boards again.

Kucherov led the league in points during the regular season with 128 (41 goals, 87 assists).

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Kucherov was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for boarding.

The DOPS determined that the hit wasn't "excessively violent or forceful", but there were "several factors to elevate the play for supplemental discipline".

"It's just unfortunate it's at the expense of Kuch", Callahan said of his opportunity. But Kucherov is out after what the National Hockey League called a "dangerous hit on a player in an exposed position".

Columbus is 4-0 in their last 4 games overall and 5-1 in their last 6 home games while the under is 6-2 in their last 8 games as a home underdog. The DoPS also ruled that Kucherov's hit fell under the category of "message-sending" due to when it occurred. "While we understand that frustration often occurs at the end of a game, risky or retaliatory plays delivered in the final minutes of a playoff game will be viewed in context and punished accordingly".

Kucherov has been fined once previously in his career.

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