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Sport Lightning’s Kucherov to miss 8-10 weeks following procedure for lower-body injury
Lightning fall 6-2 to Penguins, lose first opener in seven years
At least the banner ceremony was good.Unfortunately, for the Lightning, their season started off with a dud as they fell to the Penguins 6-2 in a sluggish and uninspired affair. For the Penguins, a Crosby and Malkin-less lineup played a perfect road game en route to a surprising season-opening win.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are once again going to be without, their top offensive player, for a significant portion of the season.
The team announced on Wednesday that Kucherov underwent a procedure for a lower-body injury that is going to sideline him for the next 8-10 weeks.
That timeline will presumably keep him out of the lineup for all of November and December and should allow for him to return sometime around January or February.
He has been sidelined since the team’s Oct. 16 game against the Washington Capitals, and it was anticipated that his absence was going to be significant. Now we know exactly how significant.
NHL injury/news updates: Eichel, Kucherov, MacKinnon, Matthews
At least the Auston Matthews news is good news Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek provided some interesting details about Jack Eichel, John Klingberg, and others.
Being without Kucherov is not exactly a new experience or development for the Lightning given the way the 2020-21 season played out. Kucherov missed the entire regular season after undergoing offseason surgery and was able to return for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs where he once again played a key role in a championship run, leading the league in postseason scoring.
Even without him in the lineup the Lightning were still able to put together a successful regular season and easily qualify for the playoffs.
Given that this injury is not as severe and the timeline not as long, it would be easy to assume that the Lightning can manage through this as well. But this year’s team is not quite as deep as the 2020-21 team following the offseason departures of, , , and . That is four significant players gone (including the entire third line that was one of the league’s best groups) on top of Kucherov being sidelined. That is a significant hit to their depth.
Canucks activate Brock Boeser, place Nic Petan on waivers
For the Canucks, Boeser’s return is essential if they want to compete in the Pacific Division playoff race. They were held to just one goal by the Detroit Red Wings in their last game despite posting 41 shots on net. Boeser’s elite finishing ability will come in handy, giving them another weapon at both even-strength and on the power play.Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily.
The Lightning are already off to a slow start this season with a 3-3-1 record through seven games, while Tuesday’s 5-1 win in Pittsburgh was the first time all season they actually held a lead during regulation (their previous two wins were overtime wins where they never actually played with a lead).
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Oilers top prospect Dmitri Samorukov medically cleared to return to AHL team .
Once Samorukov is back up to game speed, the rookie defender seems primed to finally crack the Edmonton roster at some point this season. Samorukov, 22, was a third-round pick of the Oilers in 2017 out of the OHL and he continued to boost his prospect stock in the years following with continual improvement at the junior level. He turned pro in 2019-20 and recorded 10 points in 47 AHL games. Last year, he spent the season on loan in the KHL and produced eight points and a plus-24 rating in 48 games.