Point ends a marathon victory for Bolts

by Gary Shelton on August 12, 2020

in general

Point scored his 19th goal for the Bolts./CHUCK MULLER

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Is it over yet?

Did you survive?

This was the length of time of a classic movie ... and it's sequel. It's the length of a time of a drive to Georgia. It's the length of time that the milk in your refrigerator lasts before it expires.

The Tampa Bay Lightning won the game that wouldn't end Wednesday afternoon, surviving the Columbus Blue Jets 3-2 in five overtimes. In all, the teams played 150 minutes and 27 seconds, the equivalent of 2 1/2 regulation games. It was the fourth-longest game in the history of the NHL.

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It ended an eternity after it began when Brayden Point's shot from the top of the circle found its way past Blue Jackets' goalie Joonas Korpisalo, who had made an NHL record 85 saves beforehand. It was Point's second goal of the game.

“I just saw a rolling puck," Point said. "I just threw it on net. I’m not even aiming. Just sling one there. The focus was great for our group. We weren’t worried about how many shots we were getting.

"I've never played in a game that long before. I'm not sure how many guys on either team have played in a game that was that long."

Want to know how long it lasted? Consider:

-- The Bolts' Nikita Kucherov had a personal record of 61 saves....and he still had two dozen less than Korpisalo.

-- Victor Hedman, who Tampa Bay wasn't sure would play, logged 57:38 of ice time.

-- The Bolts had 62 shots blocked, which would have put them close to 150 shots if they had all been on net.

-- It was so long that the game that was scheduled to follow the Lighting -- between Boston and Carolina -- was postponed.

-- Only games between Detroit-Montreal Maroons on 3/24/36 (176:30), Toronto-Boston on 4/3/33 (164:46) and Philadelphia-Pittsburgh on 5/4/00 (152:01) lasted longer.

"So many thinks come to my mind right now," said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, "culminating in Pointer's goal. I'll remember that puck going crazy off the end wall and Vasilevski ygetting over to stop that. I'll remember looking at my salmon salad, but I thought it was going to break the karma so I stayed hungry.

"I don’t think anyone 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. I’m glad we came out on top but it was pretty gutsy by both teams."

The victory might take a small bit of sting out of last season, when the Jackets swept the favored Lightning in four games.

The teams play again Thursday at 3 p.m. in Toronto.

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