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Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov gets grim outlook after suffering devastating injury

Lightning, Nikita Kucherov

Just like last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be without star forward Nikita Kucherov for an extended period because of an injury he suffered in a recent game against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 16. This time, though, Kucherov is not expected to be absent for the rest of the regular season. Instead, he’ll be out of action for eight to 10 weeks, which is still a significant amount of time.

Via The Athletic:

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov will miss eight to 10 weeks after having successful surgery on a lower-body injury on Tuesday, the team announced Wednesday. The Lightning did not reveal additional details on his injury.

Kucherov’s absence brings back the memories of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup run in the 2020-21 season when they put Kucherov on the long-term injured reserve that created them enough cap space to acquire defenseman David Savard via a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kucherov was activated in the playoffs, during which he tallied eight goals and 24 goals in 23 games to help the Bolts raise the Stanley Cup for the second time in a row.

But it seems that the Lightning are experiencing some sort of championship hangover. They’ve been shaky this early in the season, going 3-3-1 in their first seven games.

For now, the Lightning will have to survive without the 2019 Hart Trophy winner.