Tampa Bay Lightning Head coach John Cooper has provided several updates on key players’ injuries, saying he believes winger Nikita Kucherov will be able to play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final against Colorado Avalanche, while center Braden Point is questionable.
Kucherov was injured in match 3 after Avs defender Devon Toews cross-checked him and he had to leave the game forever after shooting the puck and changing it. He did not return to the game, but the fact that the score was 6-2 for the Lightning and the game essentially ended also probably played a role in the decision.
Point is dealing with a lower body injury after an awkward fall in Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He missed the next two rounds against the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers before returning for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final. He played in the first two games of the series in Colorado, but again corrected the injury and missed Game 3.
Getting at least one of the star players is a big win for the Lightning team, which wants to build on a 6-2 win in Game 3 to return to the series with Avalanche. Kucherov has seven goals and 26 points in 20 games this season, while Point has two goals and five points in nine games, four of which come in a series of seven games against Toronto.