Nikita Kucherov leaves Lightning – Bruins Game 5 with possible injury

Lightning star Nikita Kucherov appeared to leave Game 5 with an injury about a period after taking a high stick from Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

You can see the moment in the video above. Kucherov left the ice late in the first period after taking that high stick from Chara, but many wondered if Kucherov was forced to stay off the ice after going to the “quiet room.” A period later, that wasn’t so clear. Kucherov left the ice on his own volition during the second period. While it’s uncertain, one would hypothesize that Kucherov was still feeling the effects of that high-sticking.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

No doubt, if this is indeed a serious injury, this is huge — whether the Lightning advance to the 2020 Eastern Conference Final, or the Bruins win Game 5 and push this second round series longer. Tampa Bay’s already been dealing with Steven Stamkos‘ injury absence, so losing Kucherov would be significant.

The Lightning ended up advancing in Game 5, but Kucherov did not return despite the Bruins pushing it to double-overtime.

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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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