Jacksonville Sports Day

One for the Books: Tampa Bay Prevails in Fourth Longest Game in NHL History

TORONTO – Tampa Bay and Columbus played the fourth-longest game in NHL history in Game 1 of the teams’ First Round series Tuesday at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, the Lightning prevailing 3-2 in 5 overtimes.

Brayden Point scored his second goal of the game at 10:27 of the fifth overtime, sending a wrist shot from the top of the circles past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo to give the Lightning the victory.

Pierre-Luc Dubois got just enough of a piece of Alexandre Texier’s shot from the top of the left circle to tip a puck past Andrei Vasilevskiy on a Columbus power play 2:39 into the contest to give the Blue Jackets an early 1-0 lead.

Tampa Bay answered less than four minutes later, Brayden Point deflecting Nikita Kucherov’s shot from the left circle into the net to level the score 1-1 at 6:27 of the first period.

Columbus went back in front late in the second period, Oliver Bjorkstrand firing a puck from the boards at a sharp angle and beating Vasilevskiy at the near post to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead with 48 seconds left in the second.

The Bolts tied the game early in the third, Yanni Gourde squeezing a puck through 23 seconds into the period to level the score 2-2.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 61-of-63 saves in the victory, setting a career high and a Lightning franchise playoff high for saves (previous high: 60 saves by Nikolai Khabibulin in Game 6 of 2003 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal at Washington).

The Lightning continue their First Round series against Columbus with Game 2 Thursday from Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena (3 p.m. puck drop).

GAME NOTES: The Lightning took 88 shots, setting a NHL record for most shots in a single game regular season or playoffs (since 1959-60 in NHL record book). Previous high was 76 shots by Dallas against Vancouver….Tampa Bay ended a six-game losing skid in best-of-seven series playoff games…The Lightning improved to 10-15 in playoff series openers and ended a three-game skid in Game 1s….. Point leads the Lightning for goals (3) and points (6) this postseason….Vasilevskiy made his 37th career playoff appearance and passed Ben Bishop to become Tampa Bay’s all-time postseason goalie games played leader.

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