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National Hockey League suspends Lightning star Nikita Kucherov one game for boardinig

14 April 2019

Since leading Game 1 3-0 at the end of the first period, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been outscored 9-1 by the Columbus Blue Jackets and are down 0-2 in the series. Victor Hedman and Josh Anderson were also ejected from the game in the ensuing scrum.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety made the announcement Saturday afternoon.

Game 3 is Sunday in Columbus. All in all on the play he was hit with tripping, boarding and a game misconduct for 17 minutes of penalties in about five seconds.

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Matt Duchene, who struggled offensively following a late-season trade from Ottawa, led the Columbus attack on Friday with a goal and three assists.

The league ruled that Nutivaara was in an "exposed and defenseless" position when Kucherov delivered a risky hit that drove him into the boards.

Chirping and trash talking are part of sports, and there's no doubt frustration set in for the Lightning, which stunningly fell into a 0-2 hole in this-best-of-seven series ("A five-alarm fire", as coach Jon Cooper put it).

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He escaped a suspension for that controversial hit on defenseman Sami Vatanen, but it's possible this one could be considered more serious which could result in him missing Game 3.

The Lightning matched the NHL's record for regular-season wins (62) but have been one of the biggest disappointments early in the playoffs, losing their first two games to the Blue Jackets, who snuck in with the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot.

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National Hockey League suspends Lightning star Nikita Kucherov one game for boardinig