Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Lightning star Kucherov suspended for Game 3

Lightning star Kucherov suspended for Game 3

The NHL-best Lightning now face the tall task of climbing out of an 0-2 series deficit without the help of their best player and the league's likely Hart Trophy victor. I just think taking a shot with Columbus is the way to go given how much confidence the Blue Jackets are playing with right now and will be eager to try to get a 3-0 jump on the best team in the league. Kucherov was assessed a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct.

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.

After leading the league in points during the regular season, the Lightning are on the verge of a historically insurmountable first-round series deficit. Sure, Tampa Bay can hope they take a page from the Capitals' playbook and come back to beat the Blue Jackets after dropping the first two games at home. In other words, there's a lot of hockey left to the play in the series, and the Blue Jackets players know it all too well. "It's a series for a reason".

The Lightning defenseman was on his way back to the bench when he chirped Columbus' bench.

Columbus Blue Jackets' players celebrate their goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey first-round
2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Nikita Kucherov suspended for one game after 'dangerous' hit in Game 2

"We're in a hole, we're in a tough position, but we are not going to quit", Stamkos said.

Kucherov has yet to record a point in the series that changed dramatically when Columbus scored four unanswered goals en route to a 4-3 victory in Game 1.

"He got a little banged up last night", coach Jon Cooper said.

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