National Hockey League suspends Lightning star Nikita Kucherov one game for boardinig

Annette Crawford
April 14, 2019

While this surge ahead is clearly good news for Columbus, just a year ago the Blue Jackets were up 2-0 in the first round against the Washington Capitals on the road before losing the next four games and the series. As the Blue Jackets defenceman tried to get back on his feet, Kucherov hit him into the boards again.

Hits like this often result in the NHL's now notable "five and a game" situation in which the player is penalized both in the game and a suspension in the team's next outing.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be eager to turn things around after the Presidents' Trophy winners enter game three down 2-0 in the series after Columbus picked up a 5-1 win in game two on Friday.

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. His absence would be another notable one, but there's some optimism he'll play Game 3.

The league ruled that Nutivaara was in an "exposed and defenseless" position when Kucherov delivered a unsafe hit that drove him into the boards.

Since being down 3-0 in the first period of Game 1, the Blue Jackets have outshot Tampa Bay 48-41 and outscored them 9-1.

But Victor Hedman didn't want anyone on the Blue Jackets to get too comfortable taking a two-game edge. Kucherov scored 128 points this season (41 goals and 87 assists), the most the National Hockey League has seen since Jaromir Jagr scored 161 in 1995-96.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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