Lightning's Kucherov suspended for Game 3 for boarding

LeBrun Lightning’s Verbeek Blue Jackets’ Zito on the rise in the NHL management circuit

Following Kucherov's boarding call, Anderson was called for roughing against Hedman and misconduct.

While this surge ahead is clearly good news for Columbus, just a year ago the Blue Jackets were up 2-0 in the first round against the Washington Capitals on the road before losing the next four games and the series. As Tampa Bay trailed 5-1 with under five minutes to go, Kucherov tripped Columbus defenseman Markus Nutivaara and then delivered a unsafe follow-up hit on Nutivaara, which was ruled to be boarding.

Twenty-two players made their way onto the ice for practice Saturday morning before an afternoon flight to Columbus.

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said he didn't see the hit and had intentionally not reviewed it before his post-game news conference. Kucherov tallied 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists).

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Since jumping out to a 3-0 lead in Game 1, the Lightning have been out-scored 9-1, and they'll look to cut their series deficit in half without the Russian on Sunday night as the series shifts to Columbus. We just have to focus on Game 3. But Kucherov is out after what the National Hockey League called a "dangerous hit on a player in an exposed position".

Matt Duchene's four points led Columbus to a 5-1 win in Tampa on Friday. Now they have the Tampa Bay on the ropes and are enticingly closer to winning the first playoff series in franchise history.

But Victor Hedman didn't want anyone on the Blue Jackets to get too comfortable taking a two-game edge.

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