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Could the Lightning get Brayden Point back for Game 4?

By Mari Faiello and Diana C. Nearhos, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Hockey

The Lightning are looking to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this postseason and could get a boost if Brayden Point is able to return to the lineup for Game 4 Sunday in Edmonton, Alberta.

The team's top center did not play in Friday's Game 3, the Lightning's first loss of the Eastern Conference final. But Point skated in practice on Saturday, according to the league's daily practice footage, raising the possibility that he could be available.

Point participated in Friday's morning skate but was unable to play in the Lightning's 5-3 loss. It's not clear just how much of Saturday's practice Point took part in, but the video shows him in multiple drills. Coach Jon Cooper declined to share an update on Point when he spoke with reporters before the practice.

The Lightning played without both Point and wing Alex Killorn on Friday. They'll get at least one back as Killorn returns from his one-game suspension and have a possibility for both as they look to build on their 2-1 series advantage in Game 4 (3 p.m. Sunday, NBC).

Wing Pat Maroon didn't realize his team hadn't lost two straight games this postseason until it was addressed in a question from the media Saturday.

"I just think you just go into the mindset of just playing every game like it's a clinching game," Maroon said. "We've got to find ways to just keep playing. We have a good group, a good team. We're just going to have to find ways to turn the page."

 

That seemed to be the same message the team delivered after the Lightning's series lead was trimmed to one game.

The Lightning's most recent back-to-back losses came in March at what ended up being the end of the regular season. Tampa Bay lost in a shootout at Detroit and in regulation at Toronto, the latter coming two days before the league shut down March 12 because of the coronavirus.

To avoid a second consecutive loss Sunday, Cooper said his team needs to stick to its plan and stay the course.

The Lightning carry a quiet confidence, the coach said. Often, you can't tell if the team has come off a win or a loss, he said.

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