Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov skates in 500th NHL game

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Nikita Kucherov has been with the Tampa Bay Lightning for seven seasons and, on Thursday, he will skate in his 500th NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Five hundred is a testament to him,” said Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Not a lot of guys can get to that.”

“He may not end up with the point total he ended up with last year but I can sit here and say a lot of facets of his game have still taken another step in improving this year compared to last,” Cooper added.

He called Kucherov a “remarkable” player.

“To continue to improve every single year without slipping,” Cooper said, “says a lot about him and his game.”

Kucherov has increased his point total every single season for the past six seasons. He finished the regular season last year with the most points in the league with 128 points, 12 points ahead of Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.

Kucherov currently leads the Tampa Bay Lightning in points with 63 and in goals with 24.

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