The Lightning had been once more with out Brayden Point for Game 5 in opposition to the Rangers. It didn’t matter, as they picked up a 3-1 victory Thursday night time.
Though the star heart participated in an elective morning skate, coach Jon Cooper stated Thursday morning that Point nonetheless isn’t able to return from a lower-body damage that has saved him out for the reason that begin of the second spherical.
Cooper has cast a extra optimistic tone round Point’s damage lately, saying that he would possibly be capable to return by the tip of the sequence, however hasn’t acknowledged something definitive.
“If he plays, he’s gonna be ready to play,” Cooper stated. “He’s not ready to play right now.”
Point had 14 targets in every of the previous two postseasons, serving to the Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles.
Cooper stated he anticipated to go together with the identical lineup for Game 5 as he did in Game 4, which might imply going with 12 forwards and 6 defensemen for the primary time at Madison Square Garden in the sequence. Tampa Bay gained with such a formation in their series-tying pair of wins at Amalie Arena.
Ryan Strome, who suffered a lower-body damage in the second interval of Game 3 and was sidelined in Game 4, returned to the Rangers lineup.
Additionally, after lacking a majority of Game 4 with an upper-body damage, Filip Chytil was again in the lineup for Game 5 in opposition to the Lightning.
Ryan Reaves was a wholesome scratch for the primary time this postseason in favor of Kevin Rooney.
With a median age of 26.7 years outdated, the Rangers are the youngest remaining groups in the playoffs. The Rangers wish to grow to be the primary workforce to win a Stanley Cup with a median age of youthful than 27 for the reason that 1993 Canadiens.
The Rangers have 4 lively gamers — Okay’Andre Miller, Kaapo Kakko, Braden Schneider, Alexis Lafreniere — who had been born in 2000 or later. Chytil, who was born in 1999, is the fifth participant 22 and beneath to compete in a recreation with the Rangers this postseason.
The 5 gamers had mixed for 13 targets and 33 factors in these playoffs coming into Game 5.
Chytil led that group with seven targets, which is the second-most on the Rangers behind Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, who’ve scored 10 every. Alex Kovalev (13), Ron Duguay (11), Don Maloney (8) and Don Murdoch (8) are the one 4 gamers in Rangers historical past to have extra playoff targets than Chytil earlier than age 23.