Awesomeness of 3-on-3 OT proven by Philadelphia and Tampa

If you hate the shootout, it appears your prayers have been answered. In the first 3-on-3 game of the regular season, the Flyers and Bolts went back and forth for insane action that included a penalty shot and a breakaway winner.

The shootout has very few fans in hockey, but there was also some reticence towards 3-on-3 overtime, one of this season’s new wrinkles. Would coaches adapt and turn the open ice into a snorefest? Nope.

Even with the benefit of time, I can’t see even the stodgiest bench bosses having any effect on 3-on-3 and last night’s Philadelphia-Tampa Bay game was the perfect example. Simply put, the end-to-end action was insane and endlessly entertaining. Let’s go to the videotape:

Exhibit A features some amazing chances for the Lightning, which, when repelled by Flyers goalie Steve Mason, results in a Scott Laughton break the other way. End result? Penalty shot!

Oh, but that wasn’t the end of the excitement. The capper came when Tampa Bay defenseman Jason Garrison, more known for his bomb shot than his dangles, found daylight himself and ended the evening for the Bolts:

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And that was just a sampling of the highlights crammed into the OT session. Probably not surprising when you have a game featuring Stamkos, Hedman, Giroux and Voracek, but every NHL 3-on-3 is going to feature talent. Heck, even an Arizona-Carolina tilt would mean extra room for Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi, Eric Staal and Justin Faulk, among others.

Not only that, but Mason was amazing for Philly and he still gave up a goal eventually. So bid farewell to the shootout folks; we won’t be seeing many from here on out.