The Tampa Bay Lightning finally have their revenge. Brayden Point scored his second overtime goal of the series to eliminate Columbus from the playoffs.
Last year, the Blue Jackets were the ones who sent Tampa Bay packing with a first-round sweep. This time, the Lightning sent Columbus home in five games.
In back and forth game, Point gets last laugh
Tampa Bay wasted no time, jumping ahead 2-0 in the first period. Tyler Johnson and Blake Coleman scored nearly within a minute of each other.
Then, Columbus chipped away. Nick Foligno and Kevin Stenlund both found the back of the net to tie the game. Eventually, Alexander Wennberg gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead with 15.8 seconds left in the second period.
In the third period, Oliver Bjorkstrand scored Columbus’ fourth consecutive goal. It was Bjorkstrand’s third goal of the series.
Kevin Shattenkirk responded for the Lightning. He wound up from the right circle and fired the puck past Joonas Korpisalo. Tampa Bay trailed by just a goal.
With less than two minutes remaining in the third period, Point directed the puck in front of the goal. It bounced off of Anthony Cirelli’s shoe and trickled into the goal. At last, the Lightning knotted the game at four.
In overtime, Tampa Bay took advantage of careless puck control by the Blue Jackets. Alone in the offensive half, Point slipped a backhanded shot past Korpisalo that gave the Lightning a 5-4 win.
Point’s first OT goal of the series ended the fourth-longest game in NHL history. His latest OT goal sent the Lightning to the second round of the playoffs.
Who will Tampa Bay face in round two?
After knocking out Columbus, the Lightning advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A familiar foe likely awaits them.
Currently, the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders each have a 3-1 series lead. If those teams advance, then the Lightning will play the Boston Bruins in the second round.
The two rivals have already advanced past the first round. Boston took out the Carolina Hurricanes in five games.
Two other possible opponents for the Lighting in round two are the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. However, these are less likely.