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Nikita Kucherov not playing for Lightning

Forward scratched against Red Wings because of illness

by Corey Long / NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is ill and was scratched against the Detroit Red Wings at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

The Lightning are playing with 11 forwards and six defensemen. Centers Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson participated in the morning skate but were ruled out by coach Jon Cooper.

The Lightning had won three consecutive games and were three points behind the Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Lightning have one game in hand on the Bruins, but Boston has five more wins in regulation or overtime, which would be the first tiebreaker at the end of the season.

Kucherov has 38 goals and 80 points this season. He has 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) since March 1.

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