Quick Links

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

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. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CAPITALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Capitals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

The biggest ‘what ifs’ in Capitals history: What if Lars Eller never scored the 2OT goal?

The biggest ‘what ifs’ in Capitals history: What if Lars Eller never scored the 2OT goal?

This week NBC Sports Washington is looking at some of the biggest “what ifs” for the Capitals. Last week, we looked at what ifs for the season. This week, we are looking at some of the bigger what ifs from franchise history.
 
Today’s what-if: What if Lars Eller had not delivered the game-winning goal in double overtime of Game 3 against the Columbus Blue Jackets?
 
Lars Eller scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, but that arguably was not the most important goal he scored during that 2018 postseason.
 
Down 2-0 in the first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Eller scored the double-overtime winner to give Washington its first win. It was a fluky one that bounced off a number of body parts on its way into the net, but it still counted. But what if he had not scored that goal and the Caps had lost Game 3?
 
While Washington was able to erase a 2-0 deficit to win four straight against Columbus and win the series, it’s hard to believe they could have done the same thing if down 3-0. At that time, despair would have started to sink in. 

RELATED: WHAT IF THE CAPS HADN'T WON THE 2004 NHL DRAFT LOTTERY?
 
In terms of moves head coach Barry Trotz could have made, he would have had to get creative because the standard panic move of a goalie change would not cut it. Philipp Grubauer started Games 1 and 2 and was replaced by Braden Holtby in Game 3. Going back to Grubauer was not a realistic option at that point. Chances are, Washington would have suffered a first-round exit.
 
Considering Trotz left after winning a Stanley Cup, it is hard to imagine him staying after a first-round exit. So with another year of falling short of expectations in the postseason and in need of a new head coach, this is the point where I believe Brian MacLellan would have had to seriously consider dismantling the team. 
 
I don’t think there was ever a scenario where Alex Ovechkin would be traded considering what he means to the franchise, but I think everyone else would have been on the table. After all, by 2018 what reason would the team have to believe the core was good enough to make a deep playoff run? It had not done it after four seasons with Trotz and about as loaded a lineup as a team can have.
 
It would not have meant the end of the Ovechkin era as he would have stayed, but it probably would have meant the end in terms of the Ovechkin-led Caps pursuing a Cup. By that time, it would have been clear it was time to start over and it would have meant a very long 2018 offseason.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE CAPITALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Capitals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Columbus goes all-in on a playoff run, acquires Matt Duchene in first major trade of the deadline

Columbus goes all-in on a playoff run, acquires Matt Duchene in first major trade of the deadline

The Columbus Blue Jackets had a tough choice to make at the NHL trade deadline. It appears they made that decision Friday with a big-time trade for forward Matt Duchene.

Columbus acquired Duchene and prospect Julius Bergman from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for prospects Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson, a lotter-protected first round pick in 2019 and a conditional first-round pick in 2020. If Columbus does not get a top-three draft pick and if Duchene re-signs with the Blue Jackets, this deal will end up netting Ottawa two first round picks.



To add to the drama, Duchene is expected to be in the lineup for the Blue Jackets on Friday when they play…the Senators.



With Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky both on the last year of their contracts and unlikely to re-sign, the Blue Jackets faced a decision over whether they should keep their top two players and go all-in for a Stanley Cup run, or if they should trade them to collect what they can and not risk losing them for nothing in the offseason.

Clearly, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has chosen to do the former.

Duchene has 27 goals and 58 points this season and looks well on his way to a career year. He is a top forward and his addition gives Columbus a formidable offense. This most likely shuts the door on any possible Panarin/Bobrovsky trade. They simply paid too steep a price to get Duchene just to turn around and trade away two of its top players.

But does it make sense for a team that has never won a playoff series in franchise history to risk losing two superstar players for nothing just for one more run? Run at what? Can a team really go from zero playoff success to a Cup contender with one trade?

That seems doubtful, but the Blue Jackets did themselves no favors by sitting on their hands in the offseason after it became clear both Panarin and Bobrovsky were likely on their way out. Now in the thick of the playoff race, Columbus was unwilling to throw in the towel, but also unlikely to go very far in the postseason without doing something.

The Blue Jackets currently sit one point out of a wild card spot with 69 points. The Metropolitan Division standings, however, are very crowded and Columbus has two games in hand over the Carolina Hurricanes (70 Points), Pittsburgh Penguins (71 points) and the Capitals (75 points).

At the very least, the Blue Jackets are going to make some noise in the division standings and look poised to make a real push at a top-three spot. That could very well mean a Caps-Blue Jackets rematch in the postseason.

But at what cost? The worst-case scenario is that they could miss the playoffs or lose in the first round yet again and then lose Panarin, Bobrovsky, Duchene and be left without a first round pick in the draft. The best-case scenario obviously is going all the way to win the Cup, but even with the acquisition of Duchene, how likely a scenario is that really with a team that has never won a series, a goalie under chronically underperforms in the playoffs and a team that could quite possibly end up playing a juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning team in the first round?

Realistically, the acquisition of Duchene will be enough to get Columbus into the playoffs and it may be enough to even get them their first series win. Looking back on the trade, however, will one series win be enough to justify the huge step back this team is now poised to make in the offseason? That seems unlikely.

MORE CAPITALS NEWS: