Nikita Kucherov Could Be Facing Suspension After Illegal Hit on Markus Nutivaara in Game 2

By Chris Pennington on April 12, 2019 at 10:37 pm

UPDATE: Kucherov was suspended for Game 3 Sunday in Columbus.

Nikita Kucherov could be facing a suspension following an illegal hit to Markus Nutivaara in the third period of Friday's Game 2, and it wasn't pretty, folks.

Kucherov will have a hearing with NHL Player Safety on Saturday to determine his fate regarding his hit.

With minutes to play and his team down 5-1, Kucherov tripped Nutivaara, and proceeded to follow up with a nasty blow to the Jacket defenseman's head along the boards.

Jeremy Roenick of the NBCSN crew didn't mince words, saying in the postgame show that he'd "give [Kucherov] one game" for a suspension.

“I think we'll see something that leads into the next game and I wonder if Kucherov will be there for that one. That's a terrible hit,” Roenick said.

“He gets a game for sure,” Anson Carter would say on he same postgame show.

Others soon chimed in:

Catherine Silverman of The Athletic hits the nail on the head. With the hit coming when it did, late in the game, Kucherov was clearly taking out his frustration from a blowout loss with a classless shot.

Toronto's Nazem Kadri was given a three-game suspension for a similar hit in the playoffs last season.

Whether the NHL's leading scorer will be available for Game 3 in Columbus will come down a decision from NHL Player Safety.

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