The Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that Nikita Kucherov has been placed in the COVID protocol, according to Joe Smith of The Athletic, making him unavailable for the next few days at least. The Lightning have just three games left before the All-Star break, each of which could be missed by the star as he enters isolation.
Kucherov, 28, has been on fire since returning to the lineup a few weeks ago after missing nearly three months of the season. Since his return on January 6, he has recorded four goals and 13 points in eight games, registering at least three shots on goal in every contest. The superstar forward of course is coming off a 2020-21 campaign that saw him miss the entire regular season, only to return and lead all players in postseason scoring with 32 points in 23 games. If there’s anything Kucherov has shown over the last few years it’s that he can doesn’t miss a beat when he’s held out of the lineup.
Depending on whether or not he has tested positive and is experiencing any symptoms, Kucherov could miss the next three games, meaning he wouldn’t return to the lineup until February 10 at Colorado. He wasn’t selected to the All-Star team this season anyway because of the missed time, so he could take that break to recover completely and be ready to return next month.