Reigning NHL MVP Nikita Kucherov was forced out of Tuesday night’s game by a devastating hit from the St. Louis Blues’ Brayden Schenn.
Kucherov had just passed the puck when Schenn plowed into him with a clean, hard check, causing the Tampa Bay Lightning star to hit his back and head on the ice.
Kucherov got up slowly as Erik Cernak went after Schenn and a scrum broke out. He went to the locker room and didn’t return.
The Lightning said after the game that Kucherov had an upper-body injury and coach Jon Cooper told reporters that it wasn’t concussion-related.
The Russian forward was voted league MVP last season after recording a league-best 77 assists and 128 points as the Lightning tied an NHL record with 62 wins. He has 18 points in 18 games this season.
The Blues won 3-1.