Tampa Bay Lightning'S Nikita Kucherov suspended for one game

Tampa Bay Lightning'S Nikita Kucherov suspended for one game

The Jackets lead the series 2-0.

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. Following Kucherov's boarding call, Anderson was called for roughing against Hedman and misconduct.

Both received penalties with 4:26 to go in the third period after a scrum that followed Kucherov boarding Columbus' Markus Nutivaara.

Kucherov was the top point-getter in the National Hockey League this past season with 41 goals and 87 assists.

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With Kucherov unavailable, here's what Tampa Bay's lines looked like during practice on Saturday. A 48-point scorer during the regular season, with five power play goals, Gourde scored a goal in Game 1 last Wednesday night.

The game was already out of hand Friday, another deflating Lightning loss, when defenseman Victor Hedman approached the Columbus bench to have the final word.

Tampa Bay is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings between these two teams and are 6-1 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams in Columbus.

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said he didn't see the hit and had intentionally not reviewed it before his post-game news conference. Now they have the Tampa Bay on the ropes and are enticingly closer to winning the first playoff series in franchise history. Kucherov may have sealed that disappointing early exit from the playoffs, with a lapse in judgment and a resulting dirty play taking him off the ice for a must-win game.

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