Blue Jackets Lose Heartbreaking Game 1, 3-2, In What Was the Fourth-Longest Game in NHL History

By Rob Mixer on August 11, 2020 at 9:36 pm

One of the longest games in NHL history was a heartbreaker for the Blue Jackets.

Brayden Point ended a five-overtime marathon, unforgettable playoff game at 10:27 of the fifth overtime to beat Columbus 3-2, in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This game started at 3:10 p.m. ET, and it ended at 9:23 p.m.

  1 2 3 OT1 OT2 OT3 OT4 OT5 F
BLUE JACKETS 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
LIGHTNING 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3

It's officially the fourth-longest game in NHL history. An unforgettable night but you hoped it had a better result for the Blue Jackets.

Joonas Korpisalo authored one of the best goaltending performances in NHL history with 85 saves, setting a new league record for saves in a game. He gave the Blue Jackets every chance to win this game, but they came up one shot short. 

Columbus dodged bullets, gutted through long shifts, and played its way through tough stretches. The Lightning needed one shot, and Point – who was noticeably absent from the Blue Jackets' four-game sweep of Tampa last spring – delivered in a big moment. 

It was a night of records. Seth Jones set an NHL record with more than 65 minutes of ice time, surpassing Sergei Zubov (64:05 was the end of his record-breaking shift) to make league history. Zach Werenski also surpassed 60 minutes of ice time in the game, one that was a war of attrition between two teams that have plenty of history between them. 

Oh, and Game 2 is Thursday at 3 p.m.

A wild ride was expected in Game 1, and it was...rather tame in the first two periods. But there was a lot more in store.

The Blue Jackets drew first blood and – wait for it – they scored on the power play. Yes, it really happened. It looked a lot like a goal they scored in last spring's first-round series against Tampa Bay: Alexandre Texier curls at the left point, creeps in and shoots through traffic to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy. This time, it hit Pierre-Luc Dubois on the way in for a 1-0 lead. 

The Lightning responded with a goal later in the first period. Nikita Kucherov fired a shot through traffic that squeaked through Korpisalo to make it a 1-1 game, but the Blue Jackets again had an answer in the second period.

After a series of strong shifts, Oliver Bjorkstrand broke through for his first goal of these playoffs and it was a vintage Bjorkstrand tally. He made a play to get the puck in, then hung out on the boards to find a loose puck and one-time it on goal. It was a perfect shot, double-bar and in, to give Columbus a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

But the lead lasted only 23 seconds of the final frame.

Korpisalo inadvertently booted the puck into his own net on the first shift of the third period, bringing the Lightning to level at 2-2 and setting up for a wild stretch drive. The Blue Jackets and Lightning traded chances in the final 10 minutes, and Columbus was gifted a power play chance after *another* too many men penalty but couldn't capitalize.

Game Notes

  • Columbus played in an overtime playoff game for the third time in the 2020 postseason and third time in the last four games (1-2; Game 3 and 4 vs. Toronto).  The club is now 6-6 in overtimes in franchise playoff history.
  • With Brayden Point ending the game 10:27 into the fifth overtime, it was the longest playoff game in Blue Jackets history and the fourth-longest in NHL history (150:27). The previous longest CBJ playoff game ended 9:00 into the second overtime (89:00) when Lars Eller scored for Washington on Apr. 17, 2018 (3-2 W).
  • The Blue Jackets and Lightning combined for 151 shots (TBL-88, CBJ-63) to establish the highest combined single-game total by two teams in a single playoff game in NHL history since shots on goal were officially tracked in 1955-56.
  • It was the third one-goal game of the playoffs for the Jackets (1–2). The team went 20–8–15 in one-goal games in 2019-20, leading the league in wins and games played in one-goal contests.
  • The Blue Jackets scored the first goal of the game for the fourth time in the postseason (2–2; Games 1, 4, and 5 vs. Toronto in the ECQS).
  • CBJ led after the second period for the fourth time in the 2020 playoffs (2–2; Games 1, 4, and 5 vs. Toronto in the ECQS). The club went 14–2–5 in the 2019-20 regular season when taking a lead into the third period.
  • Columbus scored a power-play goal for the first time in the postseason with the first period goal and finished 1-of-5 on the night (20.0 pct.). The club went 5-of-10 on the power play against the Lightning in the 2019 series.
  • G Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 85-of-88 shots (.966 save percentage) to set an NHL record for most saves in a game (since 1955-56 when shots on goal were officially tracked). He surpassed Kelly Hrudey’s 73 saves on 75 shots for the NY Islanders in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals on Apr. 18, 1987. It also surpassed Sergei Bobrovsky' club record of 54 saves at Washington on Apr. 15, 2018 (5-4 OTW).
  • C Pierre-Luc Dubois notched 1-1-2 for the fourth multi-point effort of his playoffs career and second of the 2020 playoffs. The center, who leads the club in goals and points during the 2020 playoffs, has posted all of his points over the last four contests (4-2-6). His eight career playoff goals trail only RW Cam Atkinson for the most all-time in franchise history. The third-year pivot collected 1-2-3 in the four-game sweep against the Lightning in the 2019 ECQF.
  • D Seth Jones set a single-game club record and NHL record for minutes played in a single game (65:06), surpassing Dallas’ Sergei Zubov 63:51 recorded on Apr. 23, 2003 vs. Anaheim in (TOI kept since 1998-99). He added his second assist and third point of the playoffs with a first-period goal. He had 2-2-4 in four playoff games against the Lightning in the 2019 ECQF.
  • RW Oliver Bjorkstrand tallied his first goal of the 2020 postseason. He had 2-2-4 in the 2019 ECQF vs. the Lightning, including the GWG in Game 3 and series clincher in Game 4.
  • LW Alexandre Texier tied for the club lead with his third assist of the postseason. All three assists have come in the last four games. He now has 2-2-4 in five career playoff contests against the Bolts.
  • D Dean Kukan collected his first career Stanley Cup Playoffs assist with the secondary helper on Bjorkstrand’s second period goal. 

Injury Update

Elvis Merzlikins was "unfit to play" and did not dress as the backup goaltender on Tuesday. Matiss Kivlenieks was the No. 2 goalie behind Korpisalo.

Next Up

Game 2 of this first-round Stanley Cup playoffs series is set for Thursday, Aug. 11. Puck drop is again at 3 p.m. ET.