Overtime has become Brayden Point’s time to shine.
The Tampa Bay center scored his fourth overtime goal of the season on Tuesday to give the league-leading Lightning a 5-4 victory over in-state rival Florida.
Point also has four game-deciding shootout goals.
“You’ve got to be out there and coaches trust me with that,” said Point, who has 10 game-winning goals on the season, two shy of the franchise record. “It’s a privilege to play overtime. We’re just trying to work hard, and guys are finding me. It’s not only myself, but our team’s been playing well in overtime.”
Florida erased deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 to rally and earn a valuable point in the standings.
“We showed extreme heart and courage playing the way we did in the third,” Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad said. We didn’t get the two points but forced overtime. We’ve gotten a point in the last (seven) games so there’s a lot of positives and good to take away from it.”
Tampa Bay assigned G Peter Budaj to Syracuse of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment. Budaj has not played since suffering a lower-body injury on Dec. 29. … Lightning D Ryan McDonagh, acquired from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline, is expected to miss another week with an undisclosed upper-body injury. … Florida placed forward Frank Vatrano, acquired from Boston at the trade deadline, on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. … Tampa Bay LW Ondrej Palat (lower body) joined the team for practice on Tuesday for the first time since Jan. 20, but his return to the lineup is still undetermined. … The teams combined for 39 goals in the four meetings this season. . Florida C Aleksander Barkov extended his scoring streak to seven games, with five goals and eight points during that span.
Laine has at least a point in nine straight games (13 goals, six assists) and has scored multiple goals in four of his past five contests. He’s two goals behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead this season.
Laine has taken off since being put on a line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Paul Stastny.
“Our line is playing pretty good hockey,” Laine said.