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Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point could return from injury for Game 6

TAMPA, Fla. -- Lightning center Brayden Point hasn't been ruled out for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, signaling a status change for Tampa Bay's injured star.

The Lightning lead their series against the New York Rangers 3-2 and can advance to their third straight Stanley Cup Final with a win on Saturday night.

Point suffered a lower-body injury after just 5 minutes, 51 seconds of ice time in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 14. He's been ruled out in each of the Lightning's nine games since then until Saturday, when coach Jon Cooper left the door open for his return.

"I think if you see him in warm-ups, then he's probably a game-time decision. If you don't see him in warm-ups, that pretty much tells you what's going on with him," Cooper said Saturday morning. "We'll see how he's feeling after the skate."

There have been signs that Point was progressing. He had been skating after Lightning practices. He skated in full gear on June 1. He joined his teammates for the first time at an optional skate on Monday.

His return would bolster an already strong lineup for Tampa Bay. Point had four points in seven games in the opening round. No player has scored more goals (30) than Point has over the past three NHL postseasons. He has 60 points in 53 games during that span.