By the time he launched the last shot, Brayden Point was just trying to do anything he could to end the fourth-longest game in NHL history.
“I just see a rolling puck and I just throw it on net,” Point said after scoring 10:27 into the fifth overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in their playoff opener Tuesday.
“I’m not really aiming,” he added. “Just sling one there and lucky enough it finds a corner.”
Point scored from just above the left circle, beating Joonas Korpisalo after the goaltender made an NHL-record 85 saves. The 24-year-old forward also scored way back in the first period of Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.
Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy bought time for Point and Co. with 61 saves for Tampa Bay. The teams combined for 151 shots — most in an NHL game since the league began officially tracking the statistic in 1955-56.
The teams are meeting in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year, with the Lightning looking to rebound from being swept 16 months ago by the underdog Blue Jackets, who became the first No. 8 seed to oust the winner of the Presidents’ Trophy in four games.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored on the power play and Oliver Bjorkstrand added a goal late in the second period to give Columbus — the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference — a pair of short-lived leads in regulation.
Yanni Gourde had the other goal for the second-seeded Lightning, who got the game-winner from Point shortly after Columbus was denied a chance to potentially end the six-hour marathon with Cam Atkinson barreling in on Vasilevskiy on a short-handed breakaway.