Lightning ECF: 5 Questions Heading Into Eastern Conference Final and Series Predictions

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 31: Corey Perry #10 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at the Amalie Arena on December 31, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 31: Corey Perry #10 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the third period at the Amalie Arena on December 31, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /
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May 14, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (21) reacts after suffering an apparent injuryagainst the Toronto Maple Leafs in game seven of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point (21) reacts after suffering an apparent injuryagainst the Toronto Maple Leafs in game seven of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Can they overcome Brayden Point being unable to play in ECF?

There’s no denying the Lightning are a better team when their star center Brayden Point is healthy on the ice. But Point has not played since he appeared to suffer a lower body injury early in Game 7 of the first round against Toronto.

Looking back at the Florida series, you would not have known that the Lightning were missing a major piece of their offense as they swept the Panthers and averaged 3.25 goals per game.

They were able to use a combination of Anthony Cirelli, Nick Paul, and Steven Stamkos as centers for their top two lines to mitigate the impact of Point being out. Paul in particular stepped up in a major way averaging over 20 minutes of ice-time per game. And on the power play it was a similar story as Corey Perry scored twice in Point’s bumper position in the middle of the top power play unit.

Point remains out for now as he is yet to return to practice, but recent comments from players on the team indicate that not all hope is lost for him potentially making a return down the line.

As for if we should be concerned if Point’s absence will affect the team, I would say that after the team’s dominant performance against the Panthers that this team is more than capable of winning this series without him.