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Kucherov and Cirelli exit game vs. Penguins with injuries

Both forwards sustained lower-body injuries in Tuesday's game in Pittsburgh

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL /

Tampa Bay's injury concerns have hit critical levels.

The Lightning lost two of their top forwards in Tuesday's matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena. Leading scorer Nikita Kucherov suffered a lower-body injury late in the second period of a 1-1 game and did not return for the start of the third. Kucherov had tallied an assist on Mikhail Sergachev's game-tying power-play goal earlier in the second to extend his point streak to 12 games, matching a career long set previously last season. Kucherov's assist was his 70th point of the season.

Earlier in the game, Anthony Cirelli was injured blocking a shot and wasn't able to come back, Cirelli also sustaining a lower-body injury. Cirelli has 14 goals and 39 points on the season and is the Bolts' top penalty killer among forwards, averaging 2:53 shorthanded time on ice, third highest among NHL forwards.

Both Kucherov and Cirelli will miss the remainder of the Pittsburgh game.

The Lightning entered Pittsburgh already dealing with major injury issues.

Bolts captain Steven Stamkos missed Monday's victory in Columbus and the Pittsburgh contest with a lower-body injury. Defensemen Jan Rutta has missed four-consecutive games with a lower-body injury, and Ryan McDonagh also has been forced to the bench for three-straight games, also with a lower-body injury.

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