Brayden Point picks up another big 'first'
With Tuesday's game on the line, the Lightning-Panthers showdown lasting until the sixth round of a shootout, coach Jon Cooper turned to rookie Brayden Point on the bench and told him it was his turn.
"I've watched him do it in practice," Cooper said. "So that was good enough for me."
As Point hopped over the boards, he smiled at linemate, veteran Valtteri Filppula, who smiled back, which calmed the 20-year-old down. Point used his trademark speed on the attempt, keeping goalie James Reimer on his heels.
"Coming in, you have an idea of a few moves you want to do," Point said. "You look at where the goale is, his feet, and decide."
Point used his quick release to beat Reimer below his glove, resulting in the game-winning goal of a 4-3 shootout victory. "Pretty cool," Point said."Obviously getting the opportunity is awesome."
It's been a whirlwind week for Point, who made the Lightning opening night roster despite entering his first full pro season. He picked up his first NHL point Saturday with an assist on the game-winner. Point collected that puck, planning to give it to his billett family (the Hudson's in Moose Jaw). He didn't, however, get this puck.
It didn't count as Point's first career NHL goal. Surprisingly, he's the 27th player to score a shootout goal before his first NHL goal, 13th to get a shootout decider before the first career goal, per the Elias Sports Bureau.
"I don't want that (puck)," Point said, smiling. "Hope down the road I can get the real one."