Brayden Point‘s winner at 10:27 of the fifth overtime gave the Lightning a 3-2 win in Game 1 of their First Round series against the Blue Jackets.
The puck dropped at 3:09 p.m. ET in Toronto and Point’s shot beat Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo at 9:22 p.m. ET. Game 1 finished as the fourth-longest in NHL history (150:27) and longest in the history of both franchises.
It was the longest NHL playoff game since Keith Primeau’s winner in the fourth-overtime against the Penguins in May 2000.
Joonas Korpisalo set a Stanley Cup playoff record with 85 (!) saves, breaking Kelly Hrudey’s record of 73 set during the 1987 “Easter Epic.” Tampa netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 61 saves.
The overtimes saw play flow back and forth, with each team getting numerous quality chances. Both goaltenders stood on their heads until Point finally broke the deadlock.
“I just see a rolling puck come to me and I just throw it on net,” Point said afterward. “I’m not even really aiming. Just sling one there and lucky enough, it finds a corner.”
Due to the length of this game, Game 1 of Bruins-Hurricanes, which was set to start at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, has been moved to 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday (NBCSN).
Columbus and Tampa combined for 151 shots, with the Lightning recording 88, a playoff record since shots on goal became an NHL statistic in 1959-60. In a bit of an oddity, Columbus forward Cam Atkinson was the only player in the game to not record a shot.
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones was another record-setter in Game 1 with 63:55 of ice time.
“I feel fine,” Jones said. “Lotta of minutes, obviously, but I thought I stayed with it and tried to stay hydrated through the whole thing and just work through it. Obviously your legs get tired but it’s mental when you’ve got to find a way to battle through it.”
These players will enjoy a nice day off on Wednesday before getting back at it for Game 2 on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN).
“Definitely a battle; physical, mental,” Point said afterward. “Glad we came out on top.”
Tuesday, Aug. 11: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (OT)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Columbus at Tampa Bay, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Saturday, Aug. 15: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 7:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Monday, Aug. 17: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Wednesday, Aug. 19: Columbus at Tampa Bay – TBD
*Friday, Aug. 21: Tampa Bay at Columbus – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Columbus at Tampa Bay – TBD