Brayden Point notches his first 40th goal season

Third-year pro is the first of three likely 40-goal scorers this year
Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point (21), shown carrying the puck in the first period, scored his 40th goal against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in St. Louis. [Tom Gannam | AP PHOTO]
Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point (21), shown carrying the puck in the first period, scored his 40th goal against the St. Louis Blues, Saturday, March 23, 2019, in St. Louis. [Tom Gannam | AP PHOTO]
Published March 24

The Lightning has its first 40-goal scorer of the season. And Tampa Bay is on its way to having three.

Brayden Point reached 40 for the first time on Saturday. His second-period goal, redirecting Ryan McDonagh’s pass at the back door, was his 40th goal of the season.

“It’s pretty cool for sure,” Point said. “It’s definitely something I’m proud of.”

Point reaches the milestone in his third year in the league. He’s fifth in the league in goals and on pace for 98 points, so the centennial mark isn’t too much of a stretch.

Point is the first Lightning player to hit the mark this year, but the third on the team to do it in his career. Nikita Kucherov scored 40 goals two seasons ago (and is three away now). Steven Stamkos has done it four times (also hitting 50 and 60) and is currently two off of 40.

Victor Hedman pointed out how much more Point brings than just being a goal scorer. He’s also been matched up against the toughest lines for most of the year. Hedman is confident Point will keep improving.

“We were real happy for him to get 40,” Jon Cooper said. “That’s a big number.”

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