Lightning may be without Nikita Kucherov after another painful looking injury

nikita kucherov injury
Oct 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) stands for a banner raising ceremony to celebrate the 2021 Stanley Cup Champions before a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nikita Kucherov has the Tampa Bay Lightning and their entire fan base waiting in anticipation for some good news.

The high-scoring right winger skated gingerly to the bench in the middle of the third period and did not play the rest of the game. Head coach Jon Cooper had no update on his status after the game so it’s wait and see time.

“I have no way to answer what’s going on with him,” Cooper said after the game. “He’ll be evaluated when we get back. He’s a tough kid, so hopefully this isn’t too bad. But it’s way too early to tell what’s wrong.”

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Stamkos praying Kucherov is okay

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, who is no stranger to injury didn’t like what he saw on Saturday night.

“It didn’t look good,” he said. “Hopefully he’s okay. That’s one of the best players in the league, so we’re praying that he’s okay.”

On the replay, Kucherov immediately can be seen grabbing his hip/groin area in pain. He needed help getting to the bench with several Capitals players showing sportsmanship by pushing him along.

Kucherov, 28, missed all of the 2020-21 regular season recovering from hip surgery. He did return in time for postseason action and led the Lightning in scoring as they secured back-to-back Stanley Cup titles.