The Tampa Bay Lightning got some great news before Game 1 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper announced star forward Brayden Point will be back in the lineup Wednesday after missing the last two series due to injury.
The last time Point played was Game 7 of the Lightning’s first-round victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Point suffered a lower-body injury in that contest, and he missed all of Tampa Bay’s ensuing series against the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers.
In the opening round against Toronto, Point tallied two goals and two assists. Point was a staple in the Bolts’ top six during the 2021-22 regular season, recording 28 goals and 30 assists in 66 games played.
Point played an essential role in the Lightning’s prior two Stanley Cup runs. In the 2020 playoffs, Point recorded 14 goals and 33 points in 23 games. Last year, Point notched 14 goals and 23 points in 23 games. Getting him back is a massive boost to the Tampa Bay lineup.
“It’s massive,” Lightning defenseman Zach Bogosian said of Point’s return. “Just getting to know him over the years and knowing how competitive he is and how much he really wants to win. Even in in the past two rounds when he hasn’t been in the lineup, he’s been a huge part of our locker room. To see him come back, and to see him work as hard as he has, it’s obviously awesome to see. To have him back on the ice is a huge boost for us.”
Now the attention turns to the status of Tampa Bay winger Brandon Hagel, who is listed as questionable for Game 1 against Colorado. Game 1 is set for 8 p.m. ET at Ball Arena.