Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov left Tuesday’s 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues with an upper-body injury after absorbing a big hit from Brayden Schenn in the second period and did not return.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper told reporters after the game that Kucherov attempted to come back into the game but was unable to, and that his absence was not concussion-related.
Kucherov was dumping the puck out, with his face turned toward the glass, when Schenn sped toward him. The impact lifted an unsuspecting Kucherov off his feet and he appeared to hit his head on the ice.
After heading to the locker room, Kucherov was not out with the Lightning for the third period. He finished the game with 11:43 time on ice in 13 shifts.
Kucherov, last season’s Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy recipient (with 41 points and 128 points), has six goals and 18 points through 18 games so far this year. He has missed just two games in the past two seasons.