The Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening game of the first round of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Puck dropped around 3pm eastern time, and we didn’t get a winner until about 9:30 pm eastern time. Yup, you read that right, it took five overtime periods to declare a winner in this ever so exciting Game 1. As a result we had ourselves the fourth longest game in NHL History.
To put time into perspective, when I left work it was 4:30pm and the game was already in the second period. I saw the score and was worried I wouldn’t make it home in time to see the rest of the game. Boy was I wrong. I ended up being able to watch most of the third period, and the first overtime. Before the first overtime period, I like all other hockey fans, made my predictions on who would score the game winning goal by doing the #Bucciovertimechallenge on Twitter.
After one overtime period, nobody scored. So we went onto the second overtime.
Then the third..
Then the fourth..
Finally the fifth overtime period.
It honestly felt like this game would never end. I was able to make dinner, take a short nap during intermission, take the garbage out, eat a snack, and crack a cold one for what would be the final overtime period.
It wasn’t until 9:30 mark of the fifth overtime period when we found ourselves a winner. Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning found the back of the net with his game winning shot, breaking the hearts of Blue Jackets fans everywhere and giving a sigh of relief to the boys who battled their hearts out for the past six hours.
After Brayden Point scored the winner, I also got a notification that I won the #Bucciovertimechallenge. Honestly forgot I even picked Point to win, because it seemed like so long ago.
If you’re not a huge hockey fan or even if you are you know a five overtime game is pretty rare. As a result of all of the bonus hockey, a lot of records were broken in this game. Joonas Korpisalo made 85 saves out of 88 shots, making him the new record holder of most saves in an NHL game. The past record was 73 saves recorded by Kelly Hurdley. Korpisalo’s counterpart Andrei Vasilevsky also had a stellar game, stopping 61 out of 63 shots. I can’t even imagine being a goalie in this one, I struggle just to make it through one of my adult league games and they’re only an hour long.
Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones also set a record of his own in Game 1. Jones played a total of 65:06 ice time, allowing him to pass Sergei Zubov’s 63:51 (2003). Jones basically played a whole NHL game by himself while never losing a step, INCREDIBLE.
Game 1 between the Bolts and Blue Jackets was something spectacular, a great way to open the first round of playoffs. The five overtime game was not what we expected, and even the NHL wasn’t ready for it. In fact, the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes game was supposed to take place at 8pm, and had no other option but to reschedule to Wednesday at 11am eastern time. Oh yeah, did I mention the Stars and Flames played and finished their entire game before the final goal was scored in the Bolts and Blue Jackets game?
But hey, that’s hockey playoffs for you. Expect the unexpected, and enjoy every minute of it. I’m sure we will get a lot more overtime games like this one, hopefully not as long though!