All Signs Point to ‘Tony’ Cirelli if Lightning Need a No. 1 Center

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It’s a luxury not a lot of NHL organizations have and it partially explains why the Tampa Bay Lightning are one of four teams still standing in this year’s Stanley Cup tournament. The Lightning were not tipping their hand when it came to the injury status of Brayden Point going into Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final against the New York Islanders Friday night, but even if they don’t have him in the lineup, they have a capable and like-minded understudy in Anthony Cirelli at their disposal.

And there are a lot of similarities between the two players, not the least of which both of them could have been had by any NHL team, but fell to the Lightning in the third round of the draft. Like Point, Cirelli is responsible defensively and while he’s not on Point’s level as an offensive producer, he certainly has a knack for scoring big goals and creating offense when given the opportunity.