UPDATED, 6:23 PM: The Tampa Bay Lightning finally beat the Columbus Blue Jackets on Brayden Point’s second goal of the game at 10:27 of the fifth overtime. It goes down as the fourth-longest in NHL history, stretching more than six hours — and 150-plus minutes of ice time.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:09 PM: Welcome back, live sports.
It’s been a historic day in Washington but also in Canada, where the first game of the NHL’s coronavirus-delayed Stanley Cup Playoffs is headed into a fifth overtime. And with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lighting locked in the fourth-longest game in league history, the second game scheduled for the Eastern Conference “bubble” in Toronto today has been postponed.
Game 1 of the Boston Bruins-Carolina Hurricanes series, which had been slated to follow Columbus-Tampa Bay at 5 p.m. PT today in Toronto, now will be played at 8 a.m. PT Wednesday, airing live on MSNBC. The late game set for today in the Alberta capital, the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vegas Golden Knights, remains set for a 7:30 p.m. PT puck drop.
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As of 6:15 p.m. PT, Columbus-Tampa Bay was the fifth-longest game in NHL history. It’s the longest game in modern NHL history since May 2000. Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo has shattered the league record for saves with 85. His teammate, defenseman Seth Jones, has played 64-plus minutes, breaking the record for most time on ice since the league began keeping that stat in 1997. Game 3 — rather, Game 2 — of the Blue Jackets-Lightning series is scheduled for Thursday.
The Toronto Marathon is just the latest weirdness in the weirdest of NHL seasons. The league promptly shut down on March 12 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in North America. The revised Stanley Cup Playoffs were preceded by a qualifying round that narrowed the postseason field from 24 teams to the usual 16.