Home / Sports / Nikita Kucherov's late hit knocks Vladimir Sobotka out of Lightning-Sabres game in Sweden

Nikita Kucherov's late hit knocks Vladimir Sobotka out of Lightning-Sabres game in Sweden

The Buffalo Sabres might be down a participant in Saturday’s rematch with the Tampa Bay Lightning after Nikita Kucherov injured Vladimir Sobotka with a overdue hit.

Sobotka had fired the puck into the Lightning zone all the way through the primary duration of Friday’s 3-2 win in Sweden. Kucherov, last year’s league MVP, went down low to deliver a hip check, and Sobotka flipped over him and hit the ice.

The forward had to be helped off the ice and didn’t return. He was spotted wearing a walking boot that went above his right knee, The Athletic reported. Sabres trainer Ralph Krueger stated Sobotka was once out for Saturday’s recreation and could be re-examined on Monday.

- Nikita Kucherov's late hit knocks Vladimir Sobotka out of Lightning-Sabres game in Sweden

Kucherov, who scored the opening goal in Friday’s game, led the league with 128 points last season and won the Hart Trophy (writers’ MVP vote) and the Ted Lindsay Award (players’ vote).

He was suspended for one playoff game for a boarding infraction against Markus Nutivaara in Game 2 of the Lightning’s shocking four-game sweep by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Krueger argued with the referees about the lack of a call and was overheard shouting, “You’ve got eight eyes” in reference to the four on-ice officials.

- Nikita Kucherov's late hit knocks Vladimir Sobotka out of Lightning-Sabres game in Sweden

But he chose his words carefully after the game.

“It’s something I can’t control, the decisions that are being made,” he said. “They didn’t commit one way or the other. Obviously without a call, their decision was it was a fair hit. … We need to move on, whether we like it or not. Everybody can look at that video and make their own decision on it.”

- Nikita Kucherov's late hit knocks Vladimir Sobotka out of Lightning-Sabres game in Sweden

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