Lightning star Nikita Kucherov leaves Game 6 in 1st period, did not return

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Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) looks on late in the third period against the New York Islanders in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinals, Saturday, June 19, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jim McIsaac) (AP)

Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov left Game 6 against the New York Islanders with an apparent injury after an awkward first-period collision with Mat Barzal.

Kucherov, who leads all scorers with 27 points this postseason, tried to finish a check against Barzal, missed him, and went into the boards.

The former Hart Trophy winner went to the locker room and missed the remainder of the opening frame.

Here is the play in question:

Earlier in the shift, Kucherov was checked by New York's Scott Mayfield and was slow to get up.

Kucherov missed the entire regular season after undergoing hip surgery in December, and was activated off long-term injured reserve in time for the playoffs. He's made an immeasurable difference for the defending champions, with a nine-point lead over the NHL's second-leading scorer, Brayden Point, prior to Wednesday's Game 6.

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper tersely provided no update on Kucherov's status post-game.

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was less than pleased after the 3-2 overtime loss Wednesday.

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