Kucherov was assessed a major and game misconduct at the time, and had a league hearing Saturday morning.
While this surge ahead is clearly good news for Columbus, just a year ago the Blue Jackets were up 2-0 in the first round against the Washington Capitals on the road before losing the next four games and the series.More news: French rugby clubs vote against naming foreign coach for national team
Aside from the first 20 minutes of the series when the Lightning looked like they'd be running away with the first round, it's been the wild cards of Columbus who have dominated the scoreboard and sounded the alarm bells in Tampa. Kucherov was the one to initially trip Nutivaara to the ice, and while Nutivaara attempted to regain his footing, he remained in a defenseless position until Kucherov drove him into the boards. Now, Kucherov was not given a match penalty, so a "five and a game" situation is not required, but it could be coming.
Kucherov finished the regular season with 41 goals and 87 assists for an NHL-high 128 points. His absence would be another notable one, but there's some optimism he'll play Game 3.More news: Surveillance video shows violent encounter between police officer and high school student
The Blue Jackets, who have never won a playoff series, coughed up a 2-0 series deficit to the eventual Cup champion Washington Capitals a year ago.More news: 20 die in Pakistan blast targeting Hazaras
Kucherov has zero points through the first two games of the series.