Two very important pieces of the Tampa Bay Lightning will be “good to go” for Game Five against the Florida Panthers on Monday night after they left Game Four early on Saturday. Nikita Kucherov, who left after being slashed on the leg by Anthony DuClair, and Mikhail Sergachev, who left after being checked into the boards by Patric Hornqvist, both were on the ice for the Lightning’s morning skate.
Following the skate, Coach Cooper indicated that they would be in action for the game:
Kucherov has been a vital part of the resurgent Lightning offense, posting 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists) in four games. He’s also had a hand in 6 of Tampa Bay’s 7 power play goals against the Panthers.
While Sergachev hasn’t been the offensive force Kucherov has been (recording just one assist so far), the defenseman has been one of the team’s ice time leaders, logging 68:15 at 5v5 in the series, second only to Ryan McDonagh. Sergechev also brings a physical presence to what has been a rugged series. He’s second to Blake Coleman in the number of hits thrown with 14.
Barclay Goodrow was also on the ice for the morning skate, but had only limited participation in the team drills. His return tonight is unlikely, but it’s a good sign that he is close to returning.