Nikita Kucherov injury update: Will Lightning star play in Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final vs. Avalanche?

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Don’t count Nikita Kucherov out just yet.

The Lightning stormed back to make a statement in Stanley Cup Final Game 3, downing the Avalanche 6-2 and cutting Colorado’s lead to 2-1 in the series. They may have to play Game 4 without star winger Kucherov, though.

Late in the third period, Kucherov was crosschecked by Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews, sending him into the boards. Kucherov would miss the remainder of the game, but head coach Jon Cooper sounded hopeful that he may be back for Wednesday’s Game 4.

Kucherov has paced the Bolts with 26 points during the playoffs. Here’s the latest on his status for the upcoming game:

MORE: Lightning call out Devon Toews for ‘dangerous’ hit

Nikita Kucherov injury update

On Tuesday, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said he expects Kucherov to play in Game 4, but wouldn’t offer a definitive answer, saying the team will know more Wednesday:

Kucherov took a crosscheck from defenseman Devon Toews in the third period of Monday’s Game 3, sending him into the boards and to the locker room. He wouldn’t return.

Lightning players weren’t too pleased with the crosscheck, with defenseman Victor Hedman labelling the play as “dangerous.” Cooper wouldn’t go as far, but implied he was none too pleased with the hit.

“Guys know what they’re doing,” he said post-game.

It’s unclear whether or not the NHL’s Department of Player Safety will get involved, but as of Tuesday, no discipline had been levied. 

Elsewhere, Cooper says that center Brayden Point, who didn’t play in Game 3 after playing in Games 1 and 2, is day-to-day. Point missed the entire Eastern Conference finals series vs. the Rangers.

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