| June 15, 2022, 12:48 PM
Tampa Bay Lightning star centre Brayden Point will return to the lineup for Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche, head coach Jon Cooper announced.
Cooper had previously said Point would return at some point in the series, but didn’t commit to Game 1.
There were hopes Point could return for Game 6 against the Rangers, when Cooper said the forward might take warm-ups after being a full participant in an optional skate earlier Saturday.
Brandon Hagel, who has been dealing with a foot injury since being struck by a puck in Game 2 of the second round, is a game-time decision. He has two goals and three assists in 17 games played during these playoffs.
Point, who has missed 10 games in a row, was injured during Game 7 of the Lightning’s first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he took an awkward fall into the boards. Point couldn’t put any weight on his right leg after that and hasn’t appeared in a game since. He made his first return to the ice on June 1 and has been slowly building himself back up during practices ever since.
Point had two goals and two assists during the series against Toronto.
For his career, Point has averaged more than a point a game in the playoffs (38 goals, 39 assists, 77 points, 74 games).
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final starts Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, which you can watch live on Sportsnet.