With a place in the Stanley Cup final on the line, the Tampa Bay Lightning could be without star striker Nikita Kucherov for Friday’s game to make or die 7 against the New York Islanders.
Bolts coach Jon Cooper said Friday morning that he is “not sure” if Kucherov will play in Game 7 after suffering an injury in Game 6, according to team reporter Bryan Burns.
Kucherov suffered an undisclosed injury in the first period of Game 6. He was controlled by Islanders defender Scott Mayfield and continued his turn before ending up skating in pain.
The 28-year-old has been one of Tampa’s best players this postseason, scoring five goals to go with 22 assists in 17 games. If he can’t play Game 7, it will be a massive blow for the defending champions as they look to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive season.
Whichever team wins Friday’s game will play the Montreal Canadiens in the postseason final series.