Lightning defeat Blue Jackets in 5OT in Game 1 of Eastern First Round


Brayden Point scored 10:27 into the fifth overtime period to end the fourth-longest game in Stanley Cup Playoff history and give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Tuesday.

Point scored on a long wrist shot over goalie Joonas Korpisalo to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round, which started at 3:09 p.m. ET and lasted 6:13, ending at 9:22 p.m. ET.

“I don’t know how many guys have been in a game that long,” Point told NBCSN. “But that was something for sure.”

The teams combined for a playoff record 151 shots, including 88 by Tampa Bay, also a playoff record since shots on goal became an official statistic in 1959-60.

Korpisalo made 85 saves, a record for an NHL game. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 61 saves for Tampa Bay.

“It’s tiring for sure, but then it gets fun at some point,” Point said. “… It was an exciting one for sure. I though both teams had good chances.”

Game 1 of the Eastern first round between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes, which was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. at the arena, had to be rescheduled. It will be played at 11 a.m. in Toronto, the East hub city, on Wednesday.

It was the longest playoff game since May 4, 2000, when Keith Primeau of the Philadelphia Flyers scored at 12:01 of the fifth overtime for a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

The longest playoff game took place on March 26, 1936 and overtime lasted a total of 116:30. Mud Bruneteau of the Detroit Red Wings scored at 16:30 of the sixth overtime for a 1-0 win against the Montreal Maroons in the semifinals.

Game 2 is in Toronto on Thursday (3 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NBCSN, SUN, FS-O). Teams that win Game 1 are 478-219 (68.6 percent) winning a best-of-7 NHL playoff series. 

“That’s only one win,” Point said. “They’re a great team, they’re working hard, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Yanni Gourde got credit for his first goal of the playoffs when Tampa Bay tied it 2-2 at 0:23 of the third period. The Lightning forward jammed at the puck at the left post and it slid under Korpisalo, who knocked it over the goal line with his right pad.

Oliver Bjorkstrand gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead with his first NHL postseason goal with 48 seconds left in the second. His shot from the right wall went in off the crossbar. 

Pierre-Luc Dubois made it 1-0 with Columbus’ first power-play goal in six postseason games at 2:39 of the first. The Blue Jackets were 0-for-14 in their five-game Stanley Cup Qualifier series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dubois, who scored the Blue Jackets’ first postseason hat trick in Game 3 against Toronto, got credit for his fourth goal when Alexandre Texier‘s shot went in off his glove after the puck deflected off Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak‘s stick and then his skate.

Point extended his playoff point streak to four games at 6:27. Nikita Kucherov‘s shot struck his leg and went between Korpisalo’s legs to tie it at 1-1.

Columbus became the No. 7 seed in the East and advanced to face No. 2 Tampa Bay after defeating the Maple Leafs their best-of-5 qualifier series. They swept the Lightning in the best-of-7 first round last season.

Kelly Hrudey of the New York Islanders made 73 saves on April 18, 1987 in a 3-2 four-overtime win against the Washington Capitals in the deciding game of the Patrick Division Semifinal.

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