Brayden Point had one goal and one assist in his return to the lineup in Game 4 on Sunday in a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders
Point picked up an assist on a goal by Ondrej Palat in the first period to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead when three goals were scored in 27 seconds. He gave Tampa Bay some breathing room in the third period with his ninth goal of the postseason. Point has supplied 25 points in 16 matches since the restart. He missed about half of the third period following what appeared to be an innocent play behind the Islanders net, but stayed on the bench. He appeared to be in some pain at first and Anthony Cirelli took his place on the top line for some shifts as the Lightning protected their lead. Hopefully, it was just a precautionary measure and Point is available for Game 5 when Tampa Bay can advance to the Stanley Cup Final with a win. He didn’t play in Game 3 on Friday after he was hurt on Wednesday.
Brayden Point may battle through whatever is ailing him, but Tampa Bay has been trying to manage him accordingly, per coach Jon Cooper.
“We’re trying to manage him,” Cooper said after Sunday’s Game 4 victory. “He was all over it. He was in on everything. Setting up goals, scoring goals. He’s a big part of the team. But we have to manage him. It’s the playoffs and guys are playing hard, hard minutes. Guys on both teams are fighting through things.” That makes it sound like he was given some additional time to rest on Sunday after he appeared to be in some pain and missed part of the third period. It hasn’t been confirmed yet if he will play on Tuesday night in Game 5 against the New York Islanders, but he will remain active for now and we will let you know if that changes.