Brayden Point injury update: Will Lightning forward be available for Stanley Cup Final Game 1? -

Brayden Point injury update: Will Lightning forward be available for Stanley Cup Final Game 1?

Lightning center Brayden Point has not played in a playoff game since Game 7 of the Tampa Bay-Toronto first-round series on May 14. It appears that he will be back soon. 

Point has been recovering from a lower-body injury that he suffered in that first round. He was trying to stop and pivot along 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 top players, the Lightning’s hopes of a three-peat are very much alive. Tampa Bay took down the Rangers in six games in the Eastern Conference finals to advance their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final. There, they will play the Avalanche, who were the preseason Cup favorites. 

In seven games this postseason, Point has potted two goals and added two assists. He was a large part in the club’s Stanley Cup wins the past two seasons, leading all players in goals in 2020 and 2021. 

STANLEY CUP FINAL PREVIEW: Avalanche vs. Lightning

Are the Lightning about to gain back one of their top-line centers? Here are the latest updates on Point’s status heading into the Stanley Cup Final. 

When will Brayden Point return?

Point almost returned for the Eastern Conference finals. He was not ruled out ahead of time in Games 5 and 6, and he was ruled only when he did not participate in warmups for Game 6. 

Lightning coach Jon Cooper gave a promising update on Point after his team closed out the Rangers. 

Tampa Bay will have three days off before taking the ice for Game 1, so Point has some more time to recover. But the Lightning have been patient with him to this point and there is no sense that they will rush a return. 

Who will replace Point if he can’t play?

Cooper went with 12 forwards and six defenseman in the last three games of the series against the Rangers, a change from earlier in the postseason.

Riley Nash had drawn into the lineup as the 12th forward while Brandon Hagel was moved up to playing on the wing alongside Anthony Cirelli and Alex Killorn. That line was one of the best against the 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 Final?

Game 1 of the Avalanche-Lightning Stanley Cup Final series is Wednesday, June 15 at 8 p.m. ET. It will take place at Ball Arena in Denver. 

Viewers in the U.S. can watch the game nationally on ESPN. The Canadian audience can watch the game on Sportsnet, CBC and TVA Sports. 

Game Matchup Time (ET) TV channel (U.S.) TV channel (Canada)
Game 1 Avalanche vs. Lightning 8 p.m. ESPN Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports

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