NHL's first 3-on-3 OT leads to unexpected breakaway winner (Video)
It took just 2:17 for the first NHL 3-on-3 overtime to end with a victory. Defenseman Jason Garrison scored on a breakaway for the Tampa Bay Lightning to give them a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Yes, Jason Garrison – a defenseman known for howitzer one-timers from the blueline rather than blazing speed scored the game-winner on a breakaway. Hence the glory of 3-on-3.
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The OT was fast and furious, back-and-forth and even included a penalty shot by Flyers forward Scott Laughton.
Though the Lightning won, not everyone on the team was thrilled with the new format, which was adopted this year in order to cut down on shootouts. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop said, "Personally, I don't think it's fair. One breakaway, then another breakaway. I think the shootout, it's fair both ways. This is going to be a little bit more of a gong show."
Garrison reportedly said the last time he scored on a breakaway was in peewee.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper called it “lunacy.”
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The NHL tested 3-on-3 in select games during the preseason and was happy with the results. The league used a version 3-on-3 mixed with 4-on-4 in the American Hockey League, where 75 percent of those contests ended in OT.
Even if there are some detractors, the results indicate that 3-on-3 at least enables games to end through playing action rather than through a skills contest like a shootout. If Thursday was any indication extra sessions should be wild and unpredictable.
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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @joshuacooper
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