Lightning center Brayden Point has not played a playoff game since Game 7 of the Tampa Bay-Toronto first-round series on May 14. It seems he will be back soon.
Point has been recovering from a lower body injury he sustained in that first round. He tried to stop and spin over the boards, but his right leg gave out and he immediately grabbed it in pain. Point attempted to play another shift but returned to the bench in pain and did not play again.
Despite the loss of one of their best players, the Lightning’s hopes for a three-peat are very alive. Tampa Bay defeated the Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals to reach their third straight Stanley Cup Finals. There they will play the Avalanche, who were favorites in the pre-season cup.
In seven games this postseason, Point has scored two goals and added two assists. He has been instrumental in the club’s Stanley Cup wins over the past two seasons and has led all players in 2020 and 2021.
STANLEY CUP FINALS PREVIEW: Avalanche vs. Lightning
Are the Lightning about to reclaim one of their top line centers? Here are the latest updates on Point’s status ahead of the Stanley Cup Finals.
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When will Brayden Point return?
Point almost returned for the Eastern Conference Finals. He was not ruled out early in Games 5 and 6, and he was only ruled out if he didn’t participate in the Game 6 warm-up.
Lightning coach Jon Cooper gave a promising update on Point after his team shut down Rangers.
Jon Cooper says Brayden Point will “most likely” play in the finals, although he’s not sure about Game 1
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 12, 2022
Tampa Bay will have three days off before taking over the ice for Game 1, giving Point a little more time to recover. But the Lightning have been patient with him up to this point, and there’s no sense they’ll rush a return.
Who replaces Point when unable to play?
Cooper went into the last three games of the series against Rangers with 12 forwards and six defensemen, a change from earlier in the postseason.
Riley Nash was included as the 12th forward while Brandon Hagel played on the wing alongside Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn. That line was one of the best against Rangers and it would make sense to keep that line together if Point is still out.
SCF SCHEDULE: Dates, Times, TV Channels for Avalanche Lightning
When is Game 1 of the Avalanche-Lightning Stanley Cup Finals?
Game 1 of the Avalanche-Lightning Stanley Cup Finals will take place on Wednesday, June 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET. It takes place at the Ball Arena in Denver.
Viewers in the US can watch the game nationwide on ESPN. Canadian audiences can watch the game on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports.
|Game||Match||time (ET)||TV station (US)||TV station (Canada)|
|game 1||Avalanche vs Lightning||8 p.m||ESPN||Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports|