Lightning-Blue Jackets goes five overtimes to become fourth-longest game in NHL history


The anomalies of the 2020 hockey season have somehow gotten weirder.

On the first official day of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the No. 2 seed Tampa Bay Lightning and No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets played one of the longest games in NHL history, lasting five overtime periods until Tampa Bay came away with the 3-2 win.

The game spanned 150 minutes, 27 seconds and ranked as the fourth-longest game in NHL history. 

The longest game happened on March 24, 1936, between the Montreal Maroons and Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings won 1-0 in six overtimes that took 176 minutes, 30 seconds to play.

The Lightning-Blue Jackets matchup actually knocked two memorable Capitals games from the leaderboard. The 1996 Washington-Pittsburgh game, which lasted 139:15 in four overtimes, drops out of the top five. Petr Nedved you are still not forgiven. At the time, that was the third-longest game ever. Meanwhile, the 1987 Easter Epic between the Capitals and Islanders, which lasted 128:47 and four overtimes, fell out of the top 10. Caps fans you probably don't have to see that one on the "longest games" graphic anymore. That's a good thing. 

Columbus struck first in Tuesday’s matchup against a Tampa team it swept last season in the first round in a stunning No. 8 vs. No. 1 seed upset. The Blue Jackets found the back of the net two minutes into the game on a power-play goal from Pierre-Luc Dubois. The Lightning answered four minutes later.

In the second period, Columbus regained the lead before Tampa Bay delivered the equalizer 23 seconds into the third period. 


The game remained 2-2 for the remainder of the third period and four-and-a-half overtime periods until Brayden Point scored at the 10:27 mark of the fifth overtime.

Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo recorded an NHL record 85 saves in the loss.

The game went so long it forced the NHL to move the Bruins-Hurricanes matchup set for Tuesday night to Wednesday morning. That game was originally scheduled for 8 p.m. in Toronto on Tuesday. That 11 a.m. start for Boston-Carolina could impact Game 1 of the Capitals-Islanders series, which was supposed to begin the day at 3 p.m. in Toronto. Now, even one overtime could force that start time to be altered. Stay tuned. The Stanley Cup playoffs are wacky even in a normal year. Put the games in a bubble in Canada in August? Who knows what craziness is in store? Tuesday night was probably just a preview. 


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