The Tampa Bay Lightning may have taken a 3-1 lead against the Florida Panthers Saturday, but at a cost as Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev were both injured during the game. While there have been no updates on either players’ status for Game 5, The Athletic’s Joe Smith (subscription required) writes that early indications are that neither injury is considered serious.
Kucherov, who left Saturday’s game after being slashed in the knee by Florida’s Anthony Duclair, also suffered a head-to-head injury when he was shoved into goaltender Chris Driedger. Smith writes that the knee injury isn’t considered serious. Sergachev, however, who left the game with a head injury after a shoulder-to-shoulder hit against the boards from Patric Hornqvist. The belief is that he will be fine, although there is no word if either player would be made available for Game 5.
Smith also notes that there is nothing expected from the Department of Player Safety on anything that happened in Game 4.
- It looks like the Carolina Hurricanes will be without their top defenseman again Sunday as head coach Rod Brind’Amour said the team will have no lineup changes including no Jaccob Slavin, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer. Slavin who has missed Games 2 & 3 so far due to a lower-body injury, is still considered to be day-to-day, but Brind’Amour stated that he is not ruling out the blueliner for the rest of the series. Slavin led the team during the regular season in ATOI with 22:58 and was second on the team in plus/minus with a +22.
- Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville said that he will not name a goaltender for Game 5 until Monday, but rookie goaltender Spencer Knight is a possibility to start, according to George Richards of FloridaHockeyNow. While that may not sound like much, Knight was in the starter’s net for practice Monday, while Sergei Bobrovsky and Driedger were sharing the other net. Neither Bobrovsky and Driedger have impressed so far in four playoff games. Each netminder has made three appearances with Driedger being the better of the two, boasting a 3.70 GAA and a .871 save percentage, while Bobrovsky carried a 5.33 GAA and a .841 save percentage. Knight, who fared well in four regular season appearances, could get an opportunity to try to spark a team that’s close to elimination.