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Lightning edge Blue Jackets in 5-OT Stanley Cup playoffs thriller

Lightning edge Blue Jackets in 5-OT Stanley Cup playoffs thriller
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 61 saves in an overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday in Toronto. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The Tampa Bay Lighting had to stage two comebacks in regulation before Brayden Point scored in a fifth overtime period for a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of a Stanley Cup playoffs series.

Point's score ended the fourth-longest game in NHL history Tuesday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The puck dropped at 3:09 p.m. EDT and the game ended about 9:22 p.m.

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"I've never been in a game that went that long," Point told reporters. "It was definitely a physical and mental battle, but I'm glad we came out on top."

Joonas Korpisalo had 85 saves in the loss, which set a single-game record for the most in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy had 61 saves for the Lightning.

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Pierre-Luc Dubois gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 edge when he scored on a power play 2:39 into the game. Point answered about four minutes later when he scored off assists from Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman.

Oliver Bjorkstrand pushed the Blue Jackets ahead once again with 48 seconds remaining in the second period. Yanni Gourde responded with a goal 23 seconds into the third period to tie the game for the Lightning.

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Korpisalo and Vasilevskiy kept the puck out of the net for four consecutive overtime periods before Point ended the game 10:27 into the final bonus period.

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Kucherov scuffed a shot attempt at the start of the scoring sequence. The puck then bounced off a defender and fell to Point. Point then ripped a shot over Korpisalo's right shoulder for the game-winning score.

The Lightning took 88 shots on goal, while the Blue Jackets attempted 63 shots in the overtime thriller.

"You just try to go save by save and not think too much and grind through it," Korpisalo said. "I felt pretty good and the boys battled hard in front of me."

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Game 2 of the series will be at 3 p.m. EDT Thursday in Toronto. The winner of the series will face the Philadelphia Flyers or Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

"I don't think anybody can understand how hard it is on a player to go through that and still be able to make the plays they were making. It was remarkable," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

"I'm glad we came out on top, but pretty gutsy effort by both teams."

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