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Nikita Kucherov named NHL’s first star of the week

He’s now third in the NHL with 15 points in 11 games, and his 11 assists lead the league.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nikita Kucherov’s two game absence from a day-to-day upper body injury may have recharged his batteries because since his return, he has lit up the scoresheet. For his efforts, Kucherov was named the No. 1 star of the week by the NHL for the week ending Nov. 6.

Kucherov left the Oct. 27 game against the Canadiens early in the first period. He didn’t return, remained out for the next game two days later and returned on the back to back against the Rangers. While that game was one to forget, Kucherov — and the Lightning — have righted the ship since.

Since that 6-1 downer against the Rangers to end October, here’s what Kucherov accomplished, with credit to the NHL for the stats:

  • Shared the league lead with three goals and four assists in three games to guide the Lightning (7-4-1, 15 points) to five out of a possible six standings points and second place in the Atlantic Division
  • Matched a career high with two goals and two assists, including the game-winning goal, in a 6-1 victory over the Islanders on Nov. 1
  • Tallied one assist in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Bruins on Thursday
  • Had his third multi-point game of the season in a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday

Kucherov is now third in the NHL with 15 points in 11 games, including a league-high 11 assists.

For more on Kucherov and his comments on the players’ meeting that sparked the recent success, contract talks and the World Cup, check out our recently published transcript of his interview on the Lightning Power Play radio.

According to Bolts writer/team historian Bryan Burns, it’s been awhile since the league honored a Lightning as its top player of the week.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (3-0-0, 1.00 GAA, .971 SV%) and Rangers forward Kevin Hayes (4G, 2A) are the No. 2 and No. 3 stars of the week, respectively.