The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that star forward Nikita Kucherov has undergone a successful procedure for a lower body injury. As a result, Kucherov will miss approximately 8-10 weeks of action. That timetable would keep Kucherov out of the lineup until around Christmas.
Kucherov left the Lightning's game against the Washington Capitals in the third period back on Oct. 16 due to the injury. At the time, Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper had said that there was no reason to "hit the panic button."
This isn't Kucherov's first battle with the injury bug in recent years. The Lightning winger missed the entire 2020-21 regular season after undergoing hip surgery. He returned for the postseason and recorded eight goals and a playoff-leading 24 assists en route to Tampa Bay's second consecutive Stanley Cup.
Kucherov has registered a goal and three assists in the three games that he played this season. All four of those points came in Tampa Bay's 7-6 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 14. Kucherov led the league in points (128) and assists (87) during the 2018-19 regular season. His latest full season came in 2019-20, when he registered 33 goals and 52 assists in 68 games.
The Lightning haven't exactly gotten off to a hot start after winning their second consecutive Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay has a 3-3-1 record thus far, but is coming off a convincing 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.