NHL Champion Lightning Lose Kucherov For 8-10 Weeks

NHL champion Lightning lose Kucherov for 8-10 weeks

Miami, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Oct, 2021 ) :Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov, the NHL playoff scoring leader during the Lightning's Stanley Cup title runs the past two seasons, will miss the next eight to 10 weeks after surgery.

The 28-year-old Russian right wing will undergo an operation for what was described only as a "lower-body injury" by the team in Wednesday's announcement.

Kucherov missed the past four games since being injured in a 2-1 overtime victory over Washington on October 16. He scored one goal in three games before being sidelined.

In the 2019-20 playoffs, staged in bubble atmospheres in Canada, Kucherov netted seven goals and set up 27 others to spark Tampa Bay's title run.

Kucherov missed the entire 2020-21 campaign following hip surgery but returned for the playoffs and again led all post-season scorers and a Lightning championship run with eight goals and 24 assists.

Only five other players in NHL history set the playoff points pace in back-to-back seasons -- Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Rick MacLeish, Phil Esposito and Howie Morenz.

The latest setback stings especially deep for Kucherov, Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, because he wanted a strong season after sitting out the prior Covid-19 reduced campaign.

"Frustrating more for him because I just know the work it took for him to get back," Cooper said. "He was rewarded in the end with hoisting the Stanley Cup again, but I know he was looking forward to having a big year.

"Anytime he misses one game it's frustrating for him, so I feel for him."