Lightning star Nikita Kucherov suspended one game


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.

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Sunday in Columbus. Kucherov was the one to initially trip Nutivaara to the ice, and while Nutivaara attempted to regain his footing, he remained in a defenseless position until Kucherov drove him into the boards.

Tampa Bay Lightning (62-16-4, first in the Atlantic Division during the regular season) vs.

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Sergei Bobrovsky got the win to improve to 2-0-0 in the postseason after stopping 23 of 24 shots faced in the victory while Andrei Vasilevskiy took the L, falling to 0-2-0 after allowing all 5 goals on 27 shots faced in the losing effort. The last time was in 2014, when the Los Angeles Kings dug out of the hole in the opening series against San Jose and eventually won the Stanley Cup.

The suspension comes as the Lightning are down 0-2 in the series.

As Tampa Bay trailed 5-1 with under five minutes to go, Kucherov tripped Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara and then delivered a unsafe follow-up hit on Nutivaara, which was ruled to be boarding. After several back-and-forth chances, Cam Atkinson sealed Columbus a 3-1 win with an empty-net goal. Columbus signed D Vladislav Gavrikov on Saturday but he's not cleared to play yet because his visa is pending. But what Hedman forgot about Nash was that he wasn't a member of the Blue Jackets during the 2017-18 playoffs. Columbus has scored four power-play goals in the series.