Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rookie Point becomes Lightning's go-to shootout opener

TAMPA — As the Lightning prepared for a shootout Saturday against the Ducks, coach Jon Cooper knew whom he wanted to take the first shot.

Usually the first shot sets the tone, and a successful one immediately puts pressure on the opposing team. Likewise, a miss and that team is immediately in a minihole, especially if the opposing team scores on its first attempt.

Cooper didn't hesitate to call on rookie center Brayden Point to take that first shot. In four previous attempts, the rookie had scored three times, and Saturday again proved that the moment is not too big for him. Point sped in and blistered a shot past Anaheim goalie Jonathan Bernier. The Lightning went on to win the shootout 3-2 and the game 3-2.

Point said that going first wasn't really added pressure.

"I would think there's more if you are going to win the game or have to keep (the shootout) going," Point said. "You like to start off with a goal, but I don't think first is more pressure.

"When I'm put in those situations, I am trying to make the most of it. I definitely take pride in helping us win, and hopefully that can continue."

Point has had a solid rookie season. In 39 games, he has five goals and 12 assists. Though his two-game goal streak came to an end Saturday, Point won 60 percent of his faceoffs and took 21 shifts. It was his third game back after missing the previous 14 with an upper-body injury.

Associate coach Rick Bowness said it doesn't appear that Point has missed a beat.

"He played really well before he got hurt," Bowness said. "He was one of our top players. This is a kid with a lot of speed, a lot of skill, a lot of hockey sense, a lot of compete. That's a good package.

"Brayden has stepped right in where he left off. He was playing really, really well before he left us with injury, and we noticed his absence. Now we've noticed his arrival back."

Point said that even while he was rehabilitating, he was thinking of ways to get better as a player. He said the time away from the game helped him to notice things that could help him in his return.

"I'd like to think I bring hard work and a little bit of offense," Point said. "Hopefully, I can be consistent with it."

Getting healthy: Wing Michael Bournival, who wore a noncontact jersey during the brief morning skate Saturday, was in a regular practice jersey Sunday and was a full participant. Bournival missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury and was still listed as day-to-day Sunday. … Forward Cedric Paquette, who left Saturday's game early, practiced.

Up next

vs. Kings, 7:30 Tuesday,

Amalie Arena TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 970-AM

Rookie Point becomes Lightning's go-to shootout opener 02/05/17 [Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2017 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  2. Baseball team's eclipse watch during game draws fans from far away

    Outdoors

    KEIZER, Ore. — They came from Hawaii, Rhode Island and Alaska, and as far as the Dominican Republic and Australia.

    Players for the minor-league baseball Salem-Keizer Volcanoes wear special eclipse jerseys Monday.
  3. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  4. 247Sports: Berkeley Prep's Nicholas Petit-Frere top OT in nation

    Footballpreps

    Berkeley Prep offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere already is widely considered the best player in Tampa Bay.

    Berkeley Prep rising senior defensive end Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) performs a pad drill during spring football practice at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2017.
  5. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot

    Blogs

    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …