Saturday , July 2 2022

Tampa Bay Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov in, Brayden Point out for Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Lightning forwards Nikita Kucherov and Nick Paul will play in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, while Brayden Point remains out with an injury.

Kucherov and Paul were both hurt during the Lightning’s 6-2 victory in Game 3 on Monday, putting their availability for a critical Game 4 in question. Tampa Bay currently trails Colorado 2-1 in the Cup Final.

“I anticipate our lineup to be the same as it was [in Game 3],” coach Jon Cooper said on Wednesday. “I’m not saying they’re all fine. They’re going to play. Everybody’s banged up this time of year.”

Point has been trying to come back from a lower-body injury suffered in Game 7 of Tampa Bay’s first-round series against Toronto. The Lightning’s center missed over a month before suiting up in Game 1 and Game 2 of the Cup Final. Point was clearly still slowed by the ailment, even in a decreased role, and did not appear in Game 3.

He is day-to-day for now, and Cooper remains hopeful the Lightning haven’t seen the last of Point in this Cup Final.

“I haven’t ruled him out for the series,” Cooper said. “But he’s out for [Game 4]. It’s a lot of the same things [he’s been dealing with].”

Veteran forward Riley Nash entered Tampa Bay’s lineup in Game 3 with Point out. He’s expected to draw in again Wednesday on the Lightning’s fourth line.

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