TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point is a game-time decision for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, coach Jon Cooper announced Monday.
Point did not take part in the team’s morning skate. He returned to the Lightning lineup in Game 1 against the Colorado Avalanche after missing the previous two rounds, having suffered a lower-body injury on May 14 in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Point skated 16:40 with one shot on goal in Game 2. He didn’t have a shot in Game 1 in 17:59 of ice time but registered an assist. He skated both with Ross Colton and Nick Paul as well as with Anthony Cirelli and Nikita Kucherov in Game 2 when Cooper scrambled his lines in the 7-0 loss.
Point has five points in nine games in the playoffs, skating to a minus-7. No player has scored more goals (30) than Point has over the past three NHL postseasons.
If Point can’t go, it’s expected forward Riley Nash would draw back in for the Lightning.
The Avalanche lead Tampa Bay 2-0 in the Stanley Cup Final. Their speed and offensive tempo have given the Lightning problems, but the back-to-back Stanley Cup champions haven’t done themselves any favors with a pair of bad starts that saw them trail by multiple goals in the first period of both games.
“You have to give them credit. They really jump out of the gate quick. Just simplify our game and please don’t take a penalty in the first five minutes of the game,” Cooper said. “It would be nice to make these guys chase the game for once instead of us.”