The first round of the NHL playoffs kicked off with a bang with the very first game on Tuesday and made history in the process.
In a marathon thriller, the Tampa Bay Lightning outlasted the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in five overtimes in Toronto to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-7 seven series.
Brayden Point scored the game-winner at the 10:27-mark in the fifth overtime with a shot over the head of Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo in a game that ended more than six hours after it began. It was Point's second goal of the game and his third in this year's playoffs.
The game was the fourth longest game in Stanley Cup playoff history and the first game to reach a fifth overtime since 2003 when the Anaheim Ducks defeated the Dallas Stars 4-3. Tuesday's game was only minutes from surpassing the epic 2000 playoff game between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh that ended with a Flyers goal and a 2-1 win after 92 minutes had been played.
Korpisalo also made history. The 26-year-old set the record for most saves in a Stanley Cup playoff game with 85. Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded 61 saves.
Because of the length of the game, the first game between the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins was pushed to Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. ET (NBCSN).
Pierre-Luc Dubois kicked off the scoring with a power-play goal — his fourth in the bubble — early in the first period to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. Point countered for the Lightning a few minutes later to send it to the second tied 1-1.
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Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his first goal of the playoffs in the closing minute of the second period to put Columbus back out in front, but Tampa Bay tied it up for a second time after Yanni Gourde recorded his first playoff goal.
The No. 7 seed Blue Jackets knocked off the hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in the decisive fifth game of the Qualifying Round. The Lightning finished second in the Eastern Conference round-robin to secure the No. 2 seed.
The Blue Jackets swept the highly favored Lightning in the first round of last year's playoffs.