Point breaks 50-point barrier in victory

by Gary Shelton on April 14, 2023

in general

Point scored twice in victory./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

For a night, they were again a team of achievement.

Once again, they were dynamic, and they were solid, and they were relentless. Once again, they had the look of players with their eyes on prizes in a season-ending 5-0 win over Detroit.

Brayden Point got his 50th goal (and his 51st) of the season.

Brandon Hagel got his 30th.

Brian Elliott recorded the 45th shutout of his career.

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Hagel finished with 30 goals./TIM WIRT

All in all, it was a good way to wrap up the regular season for the Bolts, a team that had been mired in a slump as of late. Granted, it won't necessarily help them much when the playoffs start next week against Toronto, but winning is always better than losing, is it not?

For the Bolts, the big achievement was Point, whose 51 goals ties Steven Stamkos with the third-best season in team history. Point waited until 9:13 remained in the game before he slid the puck into the net.

"He deserved that," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper. "He’s done it so many different ways. If I’m not mistaken, none for empty netters until that last one. He’s been the straw that stirred the drink of this team all year."

Cooper was asked if it possible to have a "quiet" 50 goal season

"It is when two guys have 60," Cooper said. "But only five guys in the lag that have 50 plus. He’s turned himself into a premier player in this league."

For Elliott, it has been a tough April. He had lost his last three starts, giving up 18 goals. As he stood on the ice with his son before the game, it could have been the last such moment.

Then he went out and stopped all 32 shots.

Also scoring for the Bolts were Alex Killorn and Michael Eyssimont.

The Bolts will be in Toronto for the first two games of their upcoming playoff series before returning to Amalie Arena.

Elliott stopped all 32 shots./TIM WIRT

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