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There were plenty of storylines entering Game 1 of the first-round series between the No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Lightning and No. 7 seed Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday afternoon after the Blue Jackets stunned the Lightning, who set a league-record 62 regular-season wins in 2018-19, in a four-game sweep in the first round in April 2019. The Blue Jackets entered as the No. 8 seed in the East last season. The rematch got off to a wild start as Game 1 went 10:27 into the fifth overtime and ended off a shot by Lightning center Brayden Point in the slot after he got a pass from forward Nikita Kucherov down low. The game was the fourth-longest in NHL history.
A historic hockey game comes to an end.@BraydenPoint19 nails the game winner for the @TBLightning in the FIFTH OT. #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/QxV7T4HEMg
— NHL (@NHL) August 12, 2020
The Lightning (88) and Blue Jackets (61) combined for 147 shots in the game to establish the highest combined single-game total by two teams since shots on goal were officially tracked in 1955-56. Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo set an NHL-record with 85 saves in the loss.
The game was just the fourth in NHL history to go to a fourth overtime and the first since Game 6 of the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals between the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks. The last time a Stanley Cup Playoff game went to the third overtime was in 2016 when the Nashville Predators beat the Sharks in Game 4 of their second-round series.
Both teams set franchise records for the longest game in franchise history on Tuesday (150:33).
There was 110:04 in between the final goal of regulation and Point’s overtime winner.
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones played a game-high 61:13 in the game.
The game took so long that the NHL was forced the reschedule Game 1 of the series between the No. 5 seeded Carolina Hurricanes and No. 4 Boston Bruins to Wednesday at 11 AM ET. The game was supposed to happen at 8 PM ET on Tuesday.
Considering what has happened in 2020 so far, is it fair to assume we have not seen the last rare moment of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs? We’ll have to wait and find out.
By Harrison Brown
2.75 games worth of ice team. Here’s hoping they wore each other out and won’t be able to make the long run.