Lightning forward Brayden Point practices, status for Game 1 at Avalanche unknown

The Tampa Bay Lightning advanced to their third straight Stanley Cup Final via Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final and offered some good news to fans on the first day of the workweek. 

Per Tom Gulitti of the NHL’s website, Tampa Bay forward Brayden Point was a full participant for Monday’s practice ahead of Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at the Colorado Avalanche as he continues to recover from the lower-body injury he initially suffered during Game 7 of the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 14. 

However, Point’s status for Wednesday’s showdown remains unknown. 

Point had skated on his own or with the Lightning’s extra players throughout the past two weeks before he rejoined practice with the full team for the first time since his setback on Monday. However, assistant coach Jeff Halpern made it clear fans shouldn’t yet get overly optimistic the 26-year-old will make his return to the lineup on Wednesday. 

“I don’t even know if it’s at that point yet medically,” Halpern explained about Point potentially being cleared to play in Game 1. “A lot of times, we get in touch with the guys on the ice and that’s when we see them, but I don’t know where he is in that and I don’t know if today was any indication. It was a pretty easy skate.”

Point contributed 28 goals and 30 assists across 66 regular-season games and then added two goals and two assists in fewer than seven full contests in the postseason series against Toronto before he was sidelined for the following 10 games. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper remarked on Saturday that “it’s extremely probable” Point should eventually be able to play in the Stanley Cup Final even if he doesn’t take the ice for Game 1. 

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