Tampa Bay Lightning Center Brayden Point is Becoming a Big-Game Player During the Playoffs

“He‘s a big game player” – Islanders head coach Barry Trotz

Brayden Point is becoming a star as each game is played during the Lightning’s run to the Stanley Cup. The 25-year-old center continued his dominance on Thursday night scoring the game winning goal against the Islanders.

The game winner came with 17.4 seconds left in the second period. Point’s took a shot while falling down and the puck beat Islanders Semyon Varlamov. 

Point’s 11th goal of the playoffs has given the Lighting a 2-1 series lead and Tampa Bay is within two games of returning to the Stanley Cup Finals. 

The 11 goals by Point have come in 14 games and he has now scored in six consecutive games. Point’s scoring streak is the longest in the playoffs since Martin Havlat scored in six consecutive games for the Senators back during the 2005-2006 playoffs. 

Point has benefited from the opportunity to play during the postseason for the Lightning. He has 65 career points in 58 playoff games. 

Two Wins Away From the Stanley Cup Finals

The Lightning are now two wins away from returning to the Stanley Cup Finals and six wins away from sipping from the top of Lord Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay continues to shine during each game and no moment seems too big. 

Following the Game 1 loss to the Islanders, the Lightning players never seemed concerned or worried. Despite the miscues from the Lightning in Game 1 the team has been focused at the task at hand. 

“We’re fine in this position,” Steven Stamkos said following the Game 1 loss to the Islanders. “It’s not ideal, but (the Islanders) did what we’ve done to teams so far (this postseason) and get one on the road. So we’ve got to respond with another game at home in front of our fans, and then we’ll take it from there.

“There’s no panic in the room. We’ll make some adjustments, and we’ll come back even hungrier.”

Point is a Dominant Player – Kucherov Factor

That hunger has been led by the play of Point who has been dominant since the start of the postseason. Point is becoming a big game type player and is solidifying himself as one of the top players in the league. 

“He’s up there with some of the best players in the National Hockey League,” said Islanders coach Barry Trotz. “He’s underrated, in my opinion. Brayden is one of those players that thrives (in big moments). He’s a big-game player that doesn’t get enough credit.”

Point has been explosive on the ice and can generate offense whenever he touches the puck. He brings speed to his game which allows him to be evasive on the ice around defenders. Point’s ability to pivot through defenders makes him incredibly tough to defend on the ice. 

In addition to teams having to deal with the skillset of Point on the ice, he plays along side Nikita Kucherov. Despite Kucherov missing the regular season, Point was able to score 23 goals and rack up 48 points in 56 games. Prior to this past season, Kucherov and Point spent 80% of the time on the ice together. 

With the addition to Kucherov during the Lightning run to the Stanley Cup this season, the elite winger and Point can continue as one of the league’s best dynamic duos. 

“I think we understand the game the same way,” Kucherov said. “We’re trying to talk to each other a lot, help each other, support each other on the ice.”

Kucherov has helped elevate the Lightning offense since his return to the ice. Point has benefited from Kucherov being back and will look to build on his dominant postseason.

If Point can score another goal during Game 4, he will join an elite group of players. Point has the potential to tie Mario Lemieux, Pat LaFontaine, Joe Sakic and Claude Lemieux with seven straight games with a goal.

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– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

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