Brayden Point’s goal in the fifth overtime period gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a dramatic 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round quarter-final series in Toronto on Tuesday.
At 10 minutes, 27 seconds of the fifth extra period, a shot bounced off Columbus defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and back to Point, who blasted the rebound into the net for his second goal of the game.
The contest was the fourth-longest in Stanley Cup playoff history and just the fifth to go into quintuple overtime.
The marathon featured goaltending performances for the ages from Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo and Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. The two goalies each made multiple games’ worth of tremendous saves to keep their teams afloat in both regulation and overtime.
Korpisalo stopped 85 of 88 shots, the most saves and shots faced in a Stanley Cup playoff game since they were officially tracked in 1955-1956. Vasilevskiy stopped 61 of 63 shots.
Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 1
Robin Lehner had more trouble with one of his skates than he did with his former team.
Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore and the Vegas Golden Knights took good care of their goaltender.
Theodore and William Carrier scored 2:17 apart midway through the second period and Lehner made 19 saves against his former team as the Golden Knights beat the Chicago Blackhawks in game 1 of their Stanley Cup playoffs first-round matchup.
Smith scored twice in the third period as the top-seed in the Western Conference kept their scoring outburst from the round-robin seeding games going in the playoff opener. The Golden Knights scored 15 goals in the three seeding games and did not slow down against the Blackhawks.
“Goals are huge in the playoffs and sometimes it’s just throwing pucks on net and then hoping for bounces,” Smith said. “So we’ve got to continue to do that. The ice isn’t great, so over passing doesn’t really help, so we get pucks on net and try to crash it. Playoffs, this is where you score dirty goals, so we’ve got to continue to do that.”
Lehner, who was traded from Chicago to Vegas in February, was the backbone of a Golden Knights defense who shut down the Blackhawks. Lehner’s biggest problem was a faulty skate blade that led to delays in the second period.
Chicago’s veteran stars Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith were mostly held quiet. Toews and Kane both hit posts, but combined the trio had just five shots on goal.
“What’s so good on our team is everyone works back, everyone’s blocking shots,” Lehner said. “The [defense] was really good today about cleaning up the rebounds. They’re a dangerous team so we just got to tighten up a little bit. I think we can be even better.”
Flames 3, Stars 2
Dillon Dube scored twice and Rasmus Andersson netted the winner as Calgary beat Dallas to take the opening game in their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series in Edmonton, Alberta.
With the score tied late in the second period, Andersson restored Calgary’s lead. The defenseman was allowed into the offensive zone untouched and fired a shot from the top of the right circle that went off Andrej Sekera’s stick and into the top corner with 3:59 remaining in the frame.
Calgary goaltender Cam Talbot regrouped after surrounding an unlucky game-tying goal to record a 24-save performance in the win. He made a clutch stop on Joe Pavelski with 10 seconds remaining while the Flames were short-handed for the final 50 seconds. Dallas’ Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn scored nine seconds apart in the second period.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoff series between Carolina and Boston was postponed for a day because the Tampa Bay-Columbus game went too long.
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