Lightning star Point back after missing 14 games with injury

NHL Hockey

TAMPA, Fla. (AP)Tampa Bay Lightning star center Brayden Point will return to the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens after missing 14 games with an upper-body injury.

Lightning assistant coach Derek Lalonde made the announcement after the team’s morning skate. Lalonde is filling in for coach Jon Cooper, who is in Covid-19 protocols.

In addition to Cooper, goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy and Brian Elliott, defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and forward Anthony Cirelli are among six players in Covid-19 protocols.

Point was hurt Nov. 20 in a game against New Jersey when he crashed hard into the end boards during the third period. He favored his left arm and shoulder afterward but stayed in the game.

After practice on Monday, Point said the injury turned out to be more than just a sore shoulder.

Point led the NHL in goals (14) for the second consecutive year in last season’s playoffs, helping Tampa Bay win back-to-back Stanley Cups.

Maxime Lagace, recalled from Syracuse of the AHL, will start in goal. He is 7-8-1 with a 3.69 goals-against-average in 18 career NHL games. The 28-year-old Lagace last played in the NHL on May 8, 2021, with Pittsburgh when he made 29 saves against Buffalo to get his first shutout in his lone appearance of the season.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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