(UPDATE: Kucherov has been suspended for Game 3.)
After a dream regular season for Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov the first two games of the playoffs have been a complete nightmare.
Not only is his team facing a 2-0 series deficit after blowing a three-goal lead in Game 1 and then getting completely dominated in Game 2, but the latter ended with him getting ejected and earning 17 total penalty minutes.
It could also lead to him missing Game 3 of the series as the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has already announced Kucherov will have a hearing on Saturday.
The entire sequence began with Kucherov slashing Columbus’ Markus Nutivaara. After Nutivaara fell to the ice and was in a defenseless position against the boards, Kucherov skated up to him and drilled him into the boards. That resulted in a two-minute minor for tripping, a five-minute major for boarding, and a game misconduct.
You can see the entire sequence in the video above.
Given that the DoPS has already scheduled a hearing it seems likely that a suspension is on the horizon, and if Kucherov has to miss a game the Lightning are really going to be in a hole heading into Game 3 in Columbus on Sunday.