Ramblings: Kucherov Four Points but Injured, Leafs Bounce Back, Fleury Posts Another Playoff Shutout (May 23)

Ian Gooding

2021-05-23

The Tampa Bay Lightning have taken a commanding 3-1 series lead against their cross-state rivals. However, it may have come at a cost.

Nikita Kucherov scored a third-period power-play goal and added three assists to go with a plus-2 and four shots. However, he left the game later in the third period after taking a dirty slash in the back of the leg (an unprotected area) from Anthony Duclair. When asked after the game about Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev (more on him below), Jon Cooper offered a terse "nothing." By the end of this game, Kucherov had moved into the playoff lead in scoring with nine points (3 G, 6 A) over the four games, but we already know he'd represent a significant loss if he were to miss any games.

With the game out of hand at 6-2, the Panthers did what many teams that are losing a playoff game badly do, which is to rough things up in an attempt to get under the opponent's skin next game. There was plenty of extracurricular activity after the whistles. Mason Marchment took a dangerous run at Ross Colton near the net. Sergachev was also hurt after taking a borderline hit from Patric Hornqvist, so watch for his status for Game 5.

All of the shenanigans also overshadowed the outstanding game from