Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
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Lightning's Kucherov suspended for Game 3 for boarding

Lightning's Kucherov suspended for Game 3 for boarding

The NHL takes hits to the head very seriously and the NHL's leading scorer could be facing a one-game suspension for a hit in Game 2.

The NHL suspended Kucherov for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara during Friday's game, the NHL says. Kucherov was given a major penalty and ejected for hitting Nutivaara in a defenseless position with 4:26 remaining in the lopsided defeat.

Aside from the first 20 minutes of the series when the Lightning looked like they'd be running away with the first round, it's been the wild cards of Columbus who have dominated the scoreboard and sounded the alarm bells in Tampa.

But Victor Hedman wasn't one of them.

The NHL announced Kucherov will be having a hearing related to his hit on Saturday.

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

The Blue Jackets are facing top-seeded Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that won the Presidents' Trophy for best overall record in the National Hockey League, ending the regular season 62-16. Kucherov might be this year's Hart Trophy-winner as league MVP, as he led the league with 128 points during the regular season.

However, through two games of the first round Kucherov has yet to record a point.

Last year, the Blue Jackets went up 2-0 in the first round against Washington on the road before the Capitals won four straight and rolled on a Stanley Cup championship.

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