Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

I don’t think anyone told Tampa and Columbus that all seven games aren’t played back to back! After 150 minutes and 27 seconds of play Brayden Point finally ended game one and gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead. Most of the talk will be about the length of the game which went into a fifth overtime after being tied 2-2 at the end of three periods. It became the fourth-longest game in NHL history by the time Point scored and Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo had 85 saves. The game, which started just after 3 pm Eastern Time, went so long the NHL made the decision to postpone the second game from the Toronto bubble (Boston Bruins v Carolina Hurricanes) until Wednesday morning at 11 am ET.

The good news for Tampa was defenseman Victor Hedman played and finished the game with the most ice time of any Lightning skater. Whatever ailment he left with during the Flyers game seems to be minor and only time will tell if he is truly healed. The Swedish defenseman had a hand in Brayden Point’s first goal which tied the game after Pierre-Luc Dubois had given the Blue Jackets an early lead. Oliver Bjorkstrand restored the Blue Jackets lead near the end of the second period but Yanni Gourde tied the game for the second time 23 seconds into the third period.

Not everyone was happy with the extra hockey though.

The Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames matchup didn’t have quite the same drama as Tampa v Columbus but had its own moments including the Dallas Stars scoring two goals in nine seconds to tie the game up in the second period. Unfortunately for the Stars they were unable to build on that momentum and ended up losing 3-2. Dillon Dubé had scored two first period goals to give the Flames a lead, while Rasmus Andersson scored the game-winning goal with 3:59 remaining in the second period for the Flames.

The last game of the day pitted the Vegas Golden Knights, fresh off winning the number one seed, facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks. Could Chicago cause another upset after eliminating the Edmonton Oilers in the Qualifiers!?! It certainly looked that way in the first period as Chicago limited the Golden Knights to only nine shots on goal and went into the intermission scoreless. The second and third periods were not to be as kind to Chicago. Shea Theodore opened the scoring before William Carrier doubled Vegas’ lead. Jeremy Colliton’s challenge for offside on Carrier’s goal was rightfully overruled, but it was during the ensuing delay of game penalty that Chicago got back into the game as David Kämpf halved the deficit. It wasn’t to be for the Blackhawks though as two third period goals from Reilly Smith secured the game for the Golden Knights.

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If the Blackhawks are to mount a comeback they will need Patrick Kane to be much better than he was in game one, while Robin Lehner not losing his skate blade every time the Blackhawks mount an attack could help too. The Vegas goaltender suspiciously lost the same skate blade twice in the second period which led to a long pause while the equipment manager fixed it each time. Both came when Chicago looked to be in the ascendancy. What a coincidence!

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