Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Kucherov to have hearing for boarding call

Kucherov to have hearing for boarding call

With the lineup reshuffling, Game 1 and 2 healthy scratch Ryan Callahan (17 points during the regular season) looks sure to play in Game 3.

Superstar forward Nikita Kucherov has been suspended for Game 3 of the Tampa Bay Lightning's first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. As Tampa Bay trailed 5-1 with under five minutes to go, Kucherov tripped Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara and then delivered a unsafe follow-up hit on Nutivaara, which was ruled to be boarding.

The Lightning forward, who led the National Hockey League with 128 points during the regular season, was assessed a two-minute tripping penalty, five minutes for boarding and a game misconduct. Now, Kucherov was not given a match penalty, so a "five and a game" situation is not required, but it could be coming.

Kucherov had a phone hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Saturday morning and was not a part of the Lightning's line rushes during practice in preparation for a potential suspension.

COLUMBUS, OHIO-The Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL's best team, lost their first two playoff games at home to the Columbus Blue Jackets and are vulnerable without their top scorer for Game 3. He led the National Hockey League in both assists and points.

Kucherov finished the year with 41 goals and 87 assists.

But Victor Hedman didn't want anyone on the Blue Jackets to get too comfortable taking a two-game edge. Now they have the Tampa Bay on the ropes and are enticingly closer to winning the first playoff series in franchise history.

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