Tuesday’s NHL playoffs: Lightning outlast Blue Jackets in five-OT thriller

Detroit News

Toronto — By the time he launched the last shot, Brayden Point was just trying to do anything he could to end the fourth-longest game in NHL history.

“I just see a rolling puck and I just throw it on net,” Point said after scoring 10:27 into the fifth overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in their playoff opener Tuesday.

“I’m not really aiming,” he added. “Just sling one there and lucky enough it finds a corner.”

Point scored from just above the left circle, beating Joonas Korpisalo after the goaltender made an NHL-record 85 saves. The 24-year-old forward also scored way back in the first period of Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy bought time for Point and Co. with 61 saves for Tampa Bay. The teams combined for 151 shots — most in an NHL game since the league began officially tracking the statistic in 1955-56.

“It’s tiring for sure but then it gets fun at some point,” Point said. “I don’t know how many guys played a game like that, that long. It was an exciting one.”

The teams are meeting in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year, with the Lightning looking to rebound from being swept 16 months ago by the underdog Blue Jackets, who became the first No. 8 seed to oust the winner of the Presidents’ Trophy in four games.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored on the power play and Oliver Bjorkstrand added a goal late in the second period to give Columbus — the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference — a pair of short-lived leads in regulation.

Yanni Gourde had the other goal for the second-seeded Lightning, who got the game-winner from Point shortly after Columbus was denied a chance to potentially end the six-hour marathon with Cam Atkinson barreling in on Vasilevskiy on a short-handed breakaway.

Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman caught up to Atkinson, though, before pushing him to the ice while flicking the puck away. No penalty was called.

“Don’t ask me about the non-call,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said.

Columbus defenseman Seth Jones, who logged an NHL-record 65 minutes, six seconds of ice time, said the officials didn’t say why a penalty was not called.

“I’d like them to come up here and give an explanation,” Jones said.

Torotrella, meanwhile, looked ahead. Asked what advice he had given his team, which played an overtime game for the third time in six days.

“Get some rest and get ready to play the next game,” the coach said.

More NHL playoffs

Calgary 3, Dallas 2: Rasmus Andersson snapped a tie after Dillon Dube scored twice in the first period, leading Calgary to the victory in Game 1.

Andersson scored on a rush with four minutes left in the second period, with the defenseman taking a strong shot and the puck skirting over the top of defenseman Andrej Sekera’s stick blade on its way to the net.

Cam Talbot stopped 24 shots for the Flames, including a power-play attempt by Joe Pavelski with 10 seconds left in the game.

Vegas 4, Chicago 1: Shea Theodore and William Carrier scored 2:17 apart midway through the second period, Robin Lehner made 19 saves against his former team, and Vegas beat Chicago in Game 1.

Reilly Smith scored twice in the third period as the top-seed in the Western Conference maintained its high scoring ways. The Golden Knights scored 15 goals in the three seeding games and didn’t slow down against the Blackhawks.

Eastern Conference 

No. 1 Philadelphia vs. No. 8 Montreal

Wednesday: 8 p.m.

Friday: 3 p.m.

Sunday: 8 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 18: 3 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 19: TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 21: TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 23: TBD

No. 2 Tampa Bay leads No. 7 Columbus, 1-0

Tuesday: Tampa Bay 3-2, 5 OT

Thursday: 3 p.m.

Saturday: 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 17: 3 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 19: TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 21: TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 22: TBD

No. 3 Washington vs. No. 6 N.Y. Islanders

Wednesday: 3 p.m.

Friday: 8 p.m.

Sunday: Noon

Tuesday, Aug. 18: 8 p.m.

x-Thursday, Aug. 20: TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 22: TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 23: TBD

No. 4 Boston vs. No. 5 Carolina

Tuesday: Postponed to Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Wednesday: 8 p.m.

Thursday: 8 p.m.

Saturday: Noon

Monday, Aug. 17: 8 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 19: TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 20: TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 23: TBD

Western Conference 

No. 1 Las Vegas leads No. 8 Chicago 1-0

Tuesday: Vegas 4-1 

Thursday: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 8 p.m.

Sunday: 6:30 p.m.

x-Tuesday, Aug. 18: TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 20: TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 22: TBD

No. 2 Colorado vs. No. 7 Arizona

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m.

Friday: 2 p.m.

Saturday: 3 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 17: 5:30 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 19: TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 21: TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 23: TBD

No. 6 Calgary leads series vs. No. 3 Dallas, 1-0

Tuesday: Calgary 3, Dallas 2

Thursday: 10:30 p.m.

Friday: 10:30 p.m.

Sunday: 2 p.m.

x-Tuesday, Aug. 18: TBD

x-Thursday, Aug. 20: TBD

x-Saturday, Aug. 22: TBD

No. 4 St. Louis vs. No. 5 Vancouver

Wednesday: 10:30 p.m.

Friday: 6:30 p.m.

Sunday: 10:30 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 17: 10:30 p.m.

x-Wednesday, Aug. 19: TBD

x-Friday, Aug. 21: TBD

x-Sunday, Aug. 23: TBD

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