Brayden Point and the Tampa Bay Lightning emerged as the winners of Tuesday’s five-overtime epic against the Columbus Blue Jackets but this game belonged to Joonas Korpisalo and Seth Jones.
Korpisalo set an NHL record with 85 saves on 88 shot attempts, the most stops made since the NHL started officially recording single-game shot totals in 1955-56.
Jones also set a record, playing a Herculean 65 minutes and six seconds during the contest, the most ice-time logged in a single game.
Despite their record efforts, the Lightning defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2 when Point beat an exhausted Korpisalo upstairs for the victory.
Here are Korpisalo and Jones’ games explained in further context. I mean, let’s just take a look at the stat sheet:
Korpisalo destroys NHL save record with 85-stop performance
Korpisalo didn’t simply set the single-game save record, he obliterated it.
Kelly Hrudey previously held the mark with 73 saves, recorded as a member of the New York Islanders in an April 18, 1987 game against the Washington Capitals. Like Korpisalo, Hrudey’s accomplishment was overshadowed as the game, known as the Easter Epic, is best remembered for Pat LaFontaine’s overtime winner.
No goaltender in the past decade has made more than 60 saves in a single game. If you contextualize shot attempts and the speed and skill today compared to the 80s, you could make an argument that this was the best single-game performance ever made by a goaltender. It’s a shame it had to end in defeat.
Jones sets record for ice-time
Seth Jones has to be mentioned among the very elite defensemen in the game at this point. Jones logged 65:06, breaking a record set by Sergei Zubov in 2003, who played 63:51 for the Stars against the Ducks on April 24, 2003.
Things to watch: Korpisalo 70 saves; @KellyHrudey holds playoff record of 73 from 1987 Easter Epic. Jones 53:20; Sergei Zubov record of 63:51 is from DAL/ANA in 2003.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 12, 2020
Jones’ production didn’t drop off even as his volume reached mythological levels on Monday. In 57:52 of 5-on-5 ice-time, Jones led all the Blue Jackets with 0.37 individual expected goals for created (ixG) according to Natural Stat Trick. Zach Werenski, who also logged 61:14 of total ice-time, was better in every facet of the game because of Jones.
Could we see Jones log astronomical minutes again? He’s certainly up for the task.
Seth Jones, NHL record-setter for minutes played: "I feel fine. Lot of minutes, obviously."— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) August 12, 2020
Lightning’s relentless attack produces 187 attempts
If you can for a second put aside Korpisalo’s outstanding 85-save performance, it’s a reflection of the Blue Jackets’ defensive prowess and shot blocking ability that their goaltender wasn’t peppered with even more pucks on net.
Tampa Bay attempted an eye-popping 187 shot attempts via Natural Stat Trick, and never let up. Considering the high-end firepower the Lightning possess, this goes to show how laborious the Blue Jackets’ effort was in trying to keep them off the board.
Shooters shoot, so why didn’t Cam Atkinson?
Cam Atkinson is one season removed from a 41-goal campaign. While he didn’t match last year’s scoring output, Atkinson is among the better offensive players on the Blue Jackets and will be needed to generate more offense if they are to upend the Lightning for the second straight year.
This might be unfair to find a scapegoat in a game that was decided well past the point where individual variable change would have a profound effect, but Atkinson was the only player among both teams to fail to register a shot, despite logging 39:49 in ice time, with 4:24 on the power play.
Atkinson had a prime scoring chance in the fifth overtime period, bearing down on Andrei Vasilevskiy. However, Atkinson was dragged down by Lightning star Victor Hedman before he could get a decent attempt off. Inexplicably, no penalty was called, nor was a penalty shot awarded.
It’s tough luck for Atkinson but he’ll need to produce more chances and quality scoring opportunities as the series progresses.
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