Nikita Kucherov takes out Tom Wilson with an elbow to the face.

Nikita Kucherov takes out Tom Wilson with an elbow to the face.

Nikita Kucherov gets away with one after a pretty blatant elbow to the face of Tom Wilson.

Jonathan Larivee

Nikita Kucherov may want to keep an eye over his shoulder the next time he faces the Washington Capitals, although as you''ll see in this clip he may already be doing so.

On Saturday, Kucherov and his Tampa Bay Lightning clashed with the aforementioned Capitals in what was a hugely important game for the Capitals as far as the Stanley Cup playoffs are concerned. As a result emotions were running high and that resulted in some fireworks on both sides of the ice throughout the course of this one.

Kucherov didn't shy away from those fireworks either, taking some liberties of his own late in the second period when he landed what looked like a very blatant cheap shot on Capitals tough guy Tom Wilson. There's no question that Kucherov delivered an elbow to the face of Tom Wilson and based on the video replay I suspect it was very much intentional.

Here's a look at the replay:

As you can see in the video, Kucherov clearly looks over his shoulder and spots Wilson coming for him prior to the elbow, and then swings his arm back right into Wilson's face to deliver the blow. Under normal circumstances it can be difficult to tell a player's intent, but in this case I think the video evidence is fairly damning for Kucherov.

There was no penalty called on the play, so you have to wonder of the NHL's Department of Player Safety will get involved when you consider that this does appear to have been an intentional blow to the head of an opponent.