Lightning’s Kucherov injured, exits game early

NHL

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov left Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a lower-body injury, it was announced.

Kucherov got tangled with Lightning teammate Tyler Johnson in the second period. When he left the ice, Kucherov walked with a limp down the tunnel and to the locker room.

Kucherov, last season’s Hart Trophy winner as the league’s regular-season MVP, had an assist on three shots in 15 shifts before the injury. The assist extended his points streak to 12 games, and he now has 70 on the season.

The injuries are beginning to pile up on the Lightning, with the NHL trading deadline on the horizon. Center Anthony Cirelli also left Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury, and captain Steven Stamkos, also nursing a lower-body issue, was a scratch, his second consecutive missed game.

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