On Wednesday night, when current forward Nikita Kucherov left Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoff series against the Islanders due to injury, the Chargers suffered a major blow.
Two minutes after the start of the game, Kucherov hit the Islands striker Matthew Balzal, who slid off the ice. It is not clear whether the injury occurred in that game or when New York’s Scott Mayfield cross-checked him in the backcourt a few seconds ago.
Not sure if this caused the injury, but Kucherov cross-checked Mayfield’s transition in the corner earlier.It’s a bit slow to go up too pic.twitter.com/7Hp1MA9PAq
— NHL Safety Watch (@NHLSafetyWatch) June 24, 2021
Mayfield was not punished for his club work.
Kucherov did not come back. Before exiting, he only had 46 seconds of ice time.
By Thursday night, the Chargers had not provided the latest information about his status. Coach Jon Cooper had a brief conversation with reporters on Thursday morning, but he did talk about someone who needs to step up if his star winger can’t play in the 7th game in Tampa on Friday.
“It’s too early to talk about this,” Cooper said. “but if [Kucherov could not play], We will have to rely on players entering the lineup. You keep going. If you are lucky enough to win this game, it will be a story. “
Cooper can reinsert Matthew Joseph into the lineup. Joseph participated in all 56 games of the regular season, but only participated in two playoff games and did not score. The winger has 12 goals and 7 assists in the regular season.
Tampa Bay found a way to make up for Kucherov’s offensive defeat on Wednesday. The 2018-19 Hart Trophy winner is the league’s leading scorer in the playoffs this season. He scored 27 points (5 goals, 22 assists) in 17 games. When he recovered from hip surgery in the offseason, he missed the entire regular season.
When the Chargers tried to end the NHL semi-final series and qualify for the Stanley Cup final for the second consecutive year, they led 2-0. Brayden Point scored at 16:02 in the first quarter and Anthony Cirelli scored at 12:36 in the second quarter. The Kojima halved the lead on Jordan Eberle’s goal at 14 minutes and 22 seconds of midfield, and then equalized with Mayfield’s goal at 11 minutes and 16 seconds of the third quarter.
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In overtime, the Isles’ Anthony Beauvillier turned the Tampa Bay gift into a winning goal at 1:08.
After Wednesday, Balzal returned to the ice Received misconduct in the 5th game Used to cross-check Jan Rutta’s series in Tampa Bay on the head.
This article has been updated.