The first game of the NHL Playoffs began on Tuesday and it seemed as if it was never going to end.
After six-plus hours of hockey, including five overtime periods, the Tampa Bay Lightning topped the Columbus Blu Jackets in the fourth-longest game in NHL history for a 3-2 Game 1 victory in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Brayden Point scored the game-winning goal for the Lightning at 10:27 into the fifth overtime.
The marathon game consisted of several record-breaking moments, including Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo stopping an unfathomable 85 shots despite taking the loss. He broke the previous record of 73 set by Kelly Hrudy in 1987.
Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones also set a new record for most minutes played in one game, finishing with 65:06.
The last time an NHL playoff game went five overtimes was on April 24, 2003 when the Anaheim Mighty Ducks defeated the Dallas Stars, 4-3, 48 seconds into the fifth overtime.
This game lasted a little longer, and was the second-longest game of the expansion era. Only a second-round playoff game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins went longer in 2000, when the Flyers won at 12:01 into the fifth overtime period.
What also made this particular game unique – aside from the empty arena in which they played in – is the fact that the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes playoff opener had to be pushed back to 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
They were scheduled to for an 8 p.m. puck drop, but the Blue Jackets and Lightning game ended at 9:23 p.m.