Nikita Kucherov enters COVID-19 protocol

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JANUARY 13: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Amalie Arena on January 13, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov will miss the next two games.

The star forward was added to the COVID-19 list on Tuesday, meaning a five-day quarantine. He will miss Thursday’s matchup against the New Jersey Devils and Saturday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Kucherov has had four goals and nine assists within eight games after returning from an injury. But, at this point in the season, the Bolts are used to accounting for missing pieces.

Several players have entered COVID protocol this season, but Kucherov is the first player in the last two weeks. 

The NFL recently changed its rules. It’s no longer testing players who are asymptomatic.

Kucherov could return next Tuesday when the Bolts play the San Jose Sharks at home.