Kind of obscure, but did you hear that the Lightning beat the Blue Jackets 3-2, but only after their Game 1 reached a fifth overtime period? Really slipped under the radar.
That game was so long that the NHL postponed Game 1 of Bruins and Hurricanes, and rightfully so.
Learn about the non-overtime Game 1 battles (Flames vs. Stars; Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks).
NHL Scores: 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 1s begin
Again, Game 1 of Hurricanes – Bruins was postponed to Wednesday. More info below.
Flames 3, Stars 2 (Calgary leads series 1-0)
If you wanted to float the idea that round-robin teams staggered into Game 1 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, you may cite this one. The Flames stormed up 2-0 during the first period, and Calgary might have been able to add more. Then, during the second period, the Stars tied things up with two goals in nine seconds. That tie didn’t last long, but the Flames’ 3-2 lead stood through a rather meek third period from Dallas.
Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 1 (Vegas lead series 1-0)
Maybe this one also advances that sleepy theory? Somewhat surprisingly, the two teams tied the first period 0-0. Things didn’t pick up until the second period. After that, Vegas took a bumpy path to a 2-1 lead through the second. But Reilly Smith made sure there wasn’t much drama during the third period, where he scored two power-play goals. The Blackhawks need to push harder to stay in this series.
PHT Coverage of Lightning Blue Jackets 5 OT Game 1 (TB won 3-2, leads series 1-0)
Three Stars from NHL Playoff action on Tuesday
1. David Savard
1. for real this time: Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets
While it may not be the unquestioned record (someone might have made 90 saves in 1933?), Joonas Korpisalo’s 85 saves represents a new NHL record since the stat was officially recorded starting in 1955-56. Korpisalo didn’t get the win, but he was incredible. It’s also pretty stunning, because Korpisalo really struggled at times during his NHL career. You can even make an argument Elvis Merzlikins should be the top Blue Jackets goalie. (Elvis might be injured, so it was likely already a moot point.)
… It really is very hockey that Korpisalo didn’t get the win, though. Oh, hockey.
2. So many different Blue Jackets and Lightning players, honestly
You could credibly fill the top three stars with the other prominent players in that instant-classic.
Maybe you’d choose Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 61 saves and won. Perhaps you’d go with Seth Jones, who set a modern ice time record by logging a ridiculous 65:06 in Game 1. (If your defenseman played that much in two games combined, you’d be griping about the coach running him into the ground. Under normal circumstances.)
Perhaps you’d tab Brayden Point, who scored two goals, including the 5 OT game-winner. So let’s hand out a both-teams award, especially since we should give the other two games some of the spotlight.
3. Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights
There’s a scenario where the Blackhawks hang in there with the Golden Knights, then score a couple stunning goals and win Game 1. Maybe. But Smith made sure that didn’t happen with two third-period goals, both on the power play. Being that Smith also generated an assist, he had a heck of a three-point game to help Vegas take care of business.
Highlights of the Night
Just … all of the big moments from that 5 OT Game 1 between the Blue Jackets and Lightning:
WEDNESDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Game 1: Canadiens vs. Bruins, 11 a.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 1: Islanders vs. Capitals, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 1: Coyotes vs. Avalanche, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 1: Canadiens vs. Flyers, 8 p.m ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Game 1: Canucks vs. Blues, 10:30 p.m ET – NBCSN (livestream)
PHT’s 2020 Stanley Cup playoff previews
Flyers vs. Canadiens
Lightning vs. Blue Jackets
Bruins vs. Hurricanes
Stars vs. Flames
Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights