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Mr Clutch Brayden Point buries OT winner to advance

Photo courtesy of Alex Walworth, Scrum staff photographer.

OH MY GOURDE! Following a game where the “Gnat” line lead the way to a 3-1 series lead, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to close out the series while gaining a measure of revenge. Standing in their way is Joonas Korpisalo, but Brayden Point did what Brayden Point does in OT. 

Will the Gnat line be a difference maker once again in game 5? Or will the top line of Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat lead the way?

Seen Stamkos?

One of the things that seemed to be a good thing with the pandemic pause was Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos would seemingly be healthy. After missing a number of games due to a core injury before the pause, expectations were high Stamkos would be ready if and when the season resumed. During phase one of the restart however, Stamkos seemed to either re-injure himself and injure something completely different. With the NHL you’ll never get a complete diagnosis for injuries. The NHL loves saying upper or lower body injury, but with Covid they have gotten ever more secretive.  Could the Captain be ready for a second round match-up or will this be something that delays him longer.

Exorcising their demons?

Following last seasons earlier exit than anyone planned at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Lightning started buzzing Joonas Korpisalo early and often. Following a face-off in the offensive zone Bolts defensman Erik Cernak fired a shot at Korpisalo that found the twine at 5:38 of the first period. After reviewing the goal it was revealed. Tyler Johnson tipped the puck changing its trajectory It’s Johnson’s third goal of the playoffs. No sooner did the Lightning celebrate Johnson’s goal, Blake Coleman the lone “Gnat” not to get a goal Monday put the Bolts up 2-0 at 6:39. The goal was Coleman’s first as a member of the Lightning roster.

The Columbus Blue Jackets would get on the board at 11:51 thanks to Blue Jackets Captain Nick Foligno trimming the Bolts lead to 2-1. Tampa would have to kill off a penalty with around three minutes remaining to hold onto their 2-1 lead as they headed into the first intermission.

Columbus and Korpisalo take control

For the final five or so minutes of the first period, and the beginning of the second Columbus controlled the game. After a Mikhail Sergachev penalty the Blue Jackets were able to tie it up 2-2 after a Kevin Stenlund PP goal. With 16 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, Alexander Wennberg put the Blue Jackets ahead 3-2. Columbus lead the Lightning 34-15 in shots on goal through the first two periods.

The Third period would begin with the Blue Jackets getting an insurance goal. Oliver Bjorkstrand continued his good run for a 4-2 Columbus lead at 9:33. Tampa would inch themselves back when Kevin Shattenkirk got his first goal of the playoffs to trim the Columbus lead 4-3 at 12:01.

Tampa would not go quietly into the night…. err rather afternoon. Anthony Cirelli would tie the game up late in the 3rd at 18:22.

Point clinches trip to Round 2

The Lightning were buzzing in OT showing they would not be denied. Brayden Point had numerous chances to end the game, but Korpisalo denied him. Finally Point was able to get the puck on his stick and slip it past Korpisalo for a 5-4 Lightning win.

Last Call for Rick Peckham

Today was the last game Rick Peckham will call for the Lightning. The long time broadcaster will be missed. Enjoy the last call for his legendary Lightning broadcasting career.


Three Stars of the Game

1st Star – Brayden Point: Buries the OT game winner to advance the Lightning to the second round.

2nd Star – Anthony Cirelli: Tied the game late to force OT

3rd Star – Kevin Shattenkirk: Put the Bolts to within one setting up Cirelli to tie the game later in the 3rd.

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