Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper indicated Wednesday that Brayden Point will play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.
“Pointer looks like he’s a go,” Cooper said in a media availability on Wednesday morning. The Lightning will face the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver, CO tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Point, 26, last suited up for the Lightning in Game 7 of their first round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs back on May 14. He logged 5:51 in the game before suffering a lower-body injury.
During Tuesday’s practice, Point skated in a regular blue jersey and took reps on Tampa Bay’s No. 1 power-play unit.
“He felt pretty good today,” Cooper said Tuesday of Point’s participation in practice. “We’ll see how he responds tomorrow, but things are leaning towards him playing. And if it’s not tomorrow, really anticipate Game 2. But we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”
Point scored 28 goals and 58 points in 66 games with the Lightning during the 2021–22 regular season. In 74 career playoff games, Point has 38 goals and 77 points.
Cooper was less clear on the status of Brandon Hagel, who may not be available for Game 1 against Colorado after suiting up for all 17 Lightning playoff games in the first three rounds.
Hagel, 23, scored 25 goals and 44 points in 77 games with the Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks in 2021–22. He’s chipped in five points (two goals, three assists) during the playoffs.
Point, a Calgary product, scored a league-leading 14 goals in both the 2020 and 2021 playoffs to help the Lightning capture back-to-back Stanley Cups.