Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo gave a new definition to the phrase “standing on his head” on Tuesday. In Game 1 of the first-round series between the Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning, Korpisalo broke the playoff record for saves in a single game, which was previously held by former New York Islanders goalie Kelly Hrudey when he stopped 73 shots in 1987.
Korpisalo broke the record early in the fourth overtime period with his 74th stop. After four overtimes, Korpisalo has recorded 85 saves for the Blue Jackets and continues to add to his record-breaking performance.
This comes after Korpisalo produced another sensational performance in Game 5 of the Blue Jackets’ qualifying round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. In a must-win game, Korpisalo stopped 33 shots in the Game 5 victory and also was named the first star of the game for his efforts. It also marked the second shutout in the qualifying round for Korpisalo.
After former Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovsky signed with the Florida Panthers in free agency, Korpisalo became the starting goaltender in Columbus. Korpisalo started a career-high 35 regular season games before the NHL was forced to halt play due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Finnish goaltender posted a 19-12 record with a 2.60 goals-against-average during that time.
The Blue Jackets and Lightning remain tied at 2 after four overtimes in Toronto.