It was a much-anticipated return to the lineup Thursday night for the Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point — and it didn't take long for him to return to the scoresheet either.
Just two minutes and 28 seconds into his regular-season debut, Point jumped on the puck as the Toronto Maple Leaf netminder couldn't corral the rebound off a point shot. Showing off his strength in tight, Point used his body to his advantage to get his stick on the loose puck for his first goal of the season
WELCOME BACK BRAYDEN POINT!
The star forward scores in his first game of the season to put the @TBLightning on the board against the Maple Leafs.
His early tally wouldn't be his only one as Point deflected a shot from Nikita Kucherov for his second goal of the night halfway through the second period. The 23-year-old center pulled up in the slot and easily tipped-in Kucherov's shot past Frederik Andersen.
Brayden Point out here doing Brayden Point things!
The @TBLightning add to their lead in the second period with his redirect of Nikita Kucherov's shot!
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The winger returned earlier than anticipated after having hip surgery in the offseason as he was expected back in late October. He missed the start of training camp before signing a bridge deal worth $20.25 million. Tampa Bay surely missed his presence to start the season as the Lightning went 1-1-1 to start their 2019-20 campaign.
Last season, the third of his career, Point played in 79 games, recording career highs in goals (41), assists (51) and points (92) for the Lightning.