Point's Lightning strike sinks Columbus in marathon duel

·2-min read
Brayden Point (21) is mobbed by team-mates after his overtime winner for Tampa Bay against Columbus

Brayden Point scored the winner in quintuple overtime as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday in the fourth-longest game in Stanley Cup playoff history.

A nail-biting opening duel at Toronto's Scotiabank Arena lasted an incredible six hours and 13 minutes after multiple periods of overtime failed to separate the two teams until Point's winner.

"I don't know how many guys have been in a game that long, but that was something for sure," Point said afterwards.

"It's tiring for sure, but then it gets fun at some point. It was an exciting one for sure. I thought both teams had good chances."

The marathon battle was so long it forced the postponement of the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes' opening first round game, which was due to take place at the arena after the Lightning-Blue Jackets game.

It was the longest game seen in the playoffs since 2000, when the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins also went to five periods of overtime.

Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 85 saves -- itself a record for a National Hockey League game. Lightning counterpart Andrei Vasilevskiy made 61 saves.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had fired Columbus into the lead after two minutes 39 seconds of the first period on a power play.

Point then levelled after 6:26 of the first before Oliver Bjorkstrand made it 2-1 to Columbus in the second period.

Yanni Gourde then bagged his first goal of the playoffs in the third period to level for Tampa Bay, jabbing the puck under Korpisalo who inadvertently knocked it over the line with his pad.

For long periods of overtime, there was little to choose between the two sides, until Point finally scored the winner that sent the Lightning bench into wild celebrations.

"They're still a bunch of kids," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "They compete their asses off and they get damn excited when they score, especially when they score in the fifth overtime."

Elsewhere on Tuesday, the Calgary Flames took a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference opening round series with the Dallas Stars after a 3-2 win in Game 1.

Dillon Dube scored twice for Calgary in the first period to put the Flames into a commanding 2-0 lead.

But goals from the Stars' Denis Gurianov and Jamie Benn made it 2-2 in the second period before Rasmus Andersson restored Calgary's lead at 3-2.

"You can't lose a series in the first game, so we tried to come out and get momentum our way and build off of it," Dube said.

"I think it was a good battle for us, a good test to be able to shut it down. I think we just need to keep rolling with it."