Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov lands on long-term injured reserve

TAMPA — The Lightning placed Nikita Kucherov on long-term injured reserve Tuesday, meaning the star forward will miss at least the next 10 games and 24 days.

Tampa Bay played its first game without Kucherov against the cross-state rival Panthers. Kucherov left Saturday night’s overtime win in Washington D.C. in the third period; he held his groin area in obvious pain.

Kucherov can’t return before Nov. 13, but he still may be out beyond that.

Lightning coach Jon Cooper didn’t give any timetable on Kucherov’s return earlier in the day, only indicating that it likely won’t be like last season, when he missed the entire 56-game abbreviated regular season recovering from hip surgery. Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev said he expected Kucherov to be back in time to play in the Olympics in early February.

Placing Kucherov on long-term injured reserve provides the Lightning salary cap relief. Kucherov makes $9.5 million this season and carries a daily cap hit of $47,500, according to Cap Friendly.

This story will be updated.

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Eduardo A. Encina

Eduardo A. Encina

Tampa Bay Times

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#TBLightning beat writer @TB_Times. Coverer of Cups, Bowls & Manias. Astronaut in training. Citizen/junior ranger. Still makes @ShannonEncina laugh.⚾️🏈🏀🏒🤼🏆