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game recap

Lightning top Blue Jackets in overtime in Game 5, win Eastern First Round

Point scores at 5:12 to avenge four-game sweep from last season

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Point ends series in OT

CBJ@TBL, Gm5: Point scores OT winner to end series

R1, Gm5: Brayden Point finds himself alone in front, dekes and buries the overtime winner to send the Lightning to Round 2

  • 00:38 •

Brayden Point scored at 5:12 of overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 in Game 5 to win their Eastern Conference First Round series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay is 6-2-0 this postseason as a No. 2 seed and avenged a four-game sweep by Columbus in the first round last season. The Lightning will play the Montreal Canadiens or the next lowest remaining seed in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

"Well, we had 422 days to think about it, but who's counting?" Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It's funny how the hockey gods work. To go through what we did last year and then to just get second-guessed on a lot of things we did and go through the season, and then have the pause and everything that's happened. And then to end up during reseeding and new rules and all those things, and to still end up playing the same team, it's easy to sit up here and say you wanted them now. But it was good to get them and good to get this result."

 

[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Lightning highlights]

 

Joonas Korpisalo made 20 saves for the Blue Jackets, who lost four times by one goal. They led Game 5 4-2 when Oliver Bjorkstrand scored at 9:33 of the third period after trailing 2-0 in the first.

"I'm not [going to] get into the touchy-feely stuff in the moral victories and all that," Columbus coach John Tortorella said.

Point took Nikita Kucherov's pass and scored on a backhand for his second overtime goal of the series. He scored four goals against the Blue Jackets, including at 10:27 of the fifth overtime for a 3-2 win in Game 1 to end the fourth-longest game in NHL history.

"It was just a good read by [Kucherov]," Point said. "He steals the puck and he's a guy who sees the ice so well. He spots me right away in front of the net and I was able to make a backhand move."

Anthony Cirelli tied it 4-4 when Point's shot went in off his left skate with 1:38 left in the third period and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy pulled for an extra skater.

Kucherov assisted on each of Tampa Bay's three straight goals to become the Lightning's all-time playoff leader with 70 points, two ahead of Martin St. Louis.

"I'm sure they looked at their team after they lost to us last year and looked to ways to make themselves better, just like we tried to do," Columbus captain Nick Foligno said. "And you could just see it there, they're obviously committed to the defensive side of the game and then have the firepower to score. And it's a credit to them. They found a way to win the series."

Video: CBJ@TBL, Gm5: Cirelli scores, ties game late

Vasilevskiy made 37 saves for Tampa Bay, including 22 of 24 shots in the second period when Columbus scored twice and set its playoff record for shots in one period.

"We just kind of sat back and allowed them to kind of push us and start making some plays," Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones said. "And they found a way to put some pucks in the net and send it to overtime."

Kevin Shattenkirk scored for Tampa Bay to make it 4-3 at 12:01 of the third period.

Foligno got Columbus within 2-1 at 11:51 of the first period. He scored on a backhand off Alexander Wennberg's shot one second after a Tampa Bay penalty expired.

Columbus tied it 2-2 on a power play when Kevin Stenlund scored his first playoff goal at 9:35 of the second period.

Wennberg gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead with 16 seconds remaining, a shot that went between Vasilevksiy's legs while Foligno battled with Kucherov in the goal mouth.

"I don't think anybody was happy with how the second unfolded," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said. "We just got away from our game a little bit, but [Jon] came in, gave us a real composed speech and just reassured us what kind of team we had and just kind of hit the reset button."

The Lightning have played this postseason without forward and captain Steven Stamkos (lower body), and it is unknown if he will be available for the second round.

LNH.com staff writer Guillaume Lepage contributed to this report

Video: Lightning advance on Point's OT winner

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