Brayden Point’s goal in the fifth overtime period gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round quarterfinal series on Tuesday in Toronto.
At 10:27 of the fifth extra period, a shot bounced off Columbus defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and back to Point, who blasted the rebound into the net for his second goal of the game.
The contest was the fourth longest in Stanley Cup playoff history, and just the fifth to go into quintuple overtime.
The marathon featured goaltending performances for the ages from Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo and Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. The two goalies each made multiple games’ worth of tremendous saves to keep their teams afloat in both regulation and overtime.
Korpisalo stopped 85 of 88 shots, the most saves and shots faced in a Stanley Cup playoff game since they were officially tracked in 1955-56.
Korpisalo’s incredible night contained one notable miscue. With Yanni Gourde pressuring in front of the net 23 seconds into the third period, Korpisalo accidentally pushed the puck over the line with his own leg. Gourde’s unlikely equalizing goal paved the way for over 90 minutes of extra hockey.
While Vasilevskiy didn’t quite have Korpisalo’s workload with “only” 63 shots faced, Vasilevskiy made 61 saves to earn the victory and break the club record for saves in a playoff game. The old mark of 60 was set by Nikolai Khabibulin in 2003.
Nikita Kucherov had two assists for the Lightning.
Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets. Dubois’ power-play goal less than three minutes into the first period snapped an 0-for-14 power-play drought for Columbus in the playoffs.
Oliver Bjorkstrand scored Columbus’ other goal, an odd-angle effort in the last minute of the second period.
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones played 65 minutes, 6 seconds, the most by any player since the NHL began tracking individual ice time in 1997-98.
Victor Hedman recorded an assist and led all Lightning skaters with 57:38 played.
Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Toronto, with the Lightning again the designated home team.
--Field Level Media
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