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Epic proportions

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  • billbarrisles
    By Jeff Merron Page 2 staff NHL playoff hockey. Sudden-death overtime. Sometimes, slow-death overtime, like when the Ducks beat the Stars in the fourth-longest
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2003
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      By Jeff Merron
      Page 2 staff

      NHL playoff hockey. Sudden-death overtime. Sometimes, slow-death
      overtime, like when the Ducks beat the Stars in the fourth-longest
      game in NHL history last week. Nothing like it. Lots of great playoff
      games have gone long. So we give you ? the best of the overtime drama
      from the NHL playoffs.


      1. Detroit Red Wings 1, Montreal Maroons 0 (Stanley Cup semifinals,
      Game 2, March 24, 1936, six OTs)

      Rookie Moderre "Mud" Bruneteau had scored only two goals during the
      regular season, but he came through when it counted, picking up a
      loose puck behind Montreal's defensemen and shooting it past Maroons
      goalie Lorne Chabot at 16:30 of the sixth overtime period. That ended
      the longest game in NHL history, at 2:25 a.m.

      "Thank God," said Bruneteau. "Chabot fell down as I drove it in the
      net. It's the funniest thing. The puck just stuck there in the twine
      and didn't fall on the ice." Mud, the youngest player in the game,
      would play 11 seasons with Detroit and sip from three Stanley Cup
      winners in the process.

      2. Philadelphia Flyers 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (East semifinals,
      Game 4, May 4, 2000, five OTs)

      This one was a treat for insomniacs, who could have turned on the
      tube at midnight and still caught four or five periods of great
      hockey. The game started on May 4. It ended about seven hours later,
      at 2:35 a.m. on May 5. In between, the Pennsylvania rivals played 2
      1/2 games -- 60 minutes of regular time and 87 minutes of overtime --
      of riveting, often thrilling, hockey, with the Flyers Keith Primeau
      scoring the game winner to tie the series at two games apiece.

      The third-longest game in NHL history left players on both teams
      exhausted, sometimes looking like they were moving in slow motion.
      Penguins right winger Alexei Kovalev, for example, said his regular
      moves just didn't work as the game went into the wee hours. "Every
      move you do is not going to work, because nobody reacts to your moves
      anymore."

      Jaromir Jagr, who lost seven pounds after logging 59 minutes of ice
      time, said, "You don't even know you're playing hockey. That's the
      way it is. You're skating, [but] sometimes it doesn't look like
      you're skating. You don't even think."

      3. N.Y. Islanders 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3 (Stanley Cup finals, Game
      6, May 24, 1980, one OT)

      The Islanders came into the Stanley Cup finals with a reputation as
      chokers. In the third period of Game 6, it looked like the label fit -
      - the Islanders, with a three games to two series edge and a 4-2 lead
      in the game, gave up third-period goals to Bob Dailey and John
      Paddock, which sent the game into overtime. And the goals also set
      the Flyers lips to flapping some on-ice trash talk about choking.

      But a return to Philadelphia for a seventh and deciding game was not
      what the Isles had in mind. Bob Nystrom scored at 7 minutes and 11
      seconds of OT to give the Islanders the game and the Stanley Cup. "It
      was the second time tonight John Tonelli laid a perfect pass on my
      stick, and all I had to do was tap it in," said Nystrom. "Then the
      players were on me so fast I didn't have time to think."

      Said Dennis Potvin, "The media can take that choke label and shove
      it."

      4. Detroit Red Wings 4, New York Rangers 3 (Stanley Cup finals, Game
      7, April 23, 1950, two OTs)

      It was a long road trip for the Rangers, who were forced to play the
      entire Stanley Cup finals in Detroit, because the circus had taken
      over Madison Square Garden. In the second overtime period of the
      seventh game of a thrilling series, the Rangers' Dunc Fisher had
      Wings goalie Harry Lumley beat on a breakaway shot, but the puck hit
      the post. Moments later, Detroit's Pete Babando, who had scored only
      six goals in the regular season, took a pass from George Gee and
      slammed it past Ranger goalie Chuck Rayner for the game -- and Cup --
      winner at 8:31 of the second OT period.

      "He let a low shot go at the point that went through a maze of bodies
      and nicked the shinpad of Frank Eddolls, our defenseman," said
      Rayner. "The puck barely caught the corner. I never seen it until it
      was in the net." Not long ago, Rayner voiced his continuing
      regrets. "To this day, I still wake up thinking how close we came to
      the Cup that year. What a shame that was. Just one goal and there
      never would have been a 54-year drought."

      5. Dallas Stars 2, Buffalo Sabres 1 (Stanley Cup finals, Game 6, June
      20, 1999, three OTs)

      With 5:09 remaining in the third OT, Brett Hull, with his foot in the
      crease, scored the Cup-winner for Dallas. Lots of folks thought the
      goal illegal -- including plenty of Sabres. "Everybody is going to
      remember this as the Stanley Cup that was never won -- it was given
      away," said Joe Juneau. "The goal was not a legal goal. It's
      cheating, you know? It's not a loss. The game is not over, it's just
      not. They just decided to end it." It was the second-longest game in
      the history of the tanley Cup finals.


      6. Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Washington Capitals 2 (East quarterfinals,
      Game 4, April 24, 1996, four OTs)

      Mario Lemieux was ejected for slashing and fighting. The Caps got a
      penalty shot in the second OT period -- and Joe Juneau missed it.
      Penguins goalie Ken Wregget came in to replace the injured Tom
      Barrasso and made 53 saves. Caps goalie Olie Kolzig stopped 62 shots.
      The fifth-longest game in NHL history -- the Pens won on a Petr
      Nedved goal with 45 seconds left in the fourth OT to knot the series
      at two -- had everything fans, and players, could want. "It was
      exciting and fun to play in that game," said the Caps Peter Bondra,
      who had scored a goal on a power play. "It was a game with a bad end
      for us, but we are winners. We all did all we could to win, and then
      just one shot ? Both teams should get a win for that game."


      7. Montreal Canadiens 5, Boston Bruins 4 (Prince of Wales Conference
      finals, Game 7, May 10, 1979, one OT)

      The famed "too many men on the ice" game. The Bruins took a 4-3 lead
      on a Rick Middleton goal with four minutes remaining in the third
      period. But then Boston (in Don Cherry's last game as a coach) was
      penalized for having too many men on the ice, and Guy Lafleur scored
      on the ensuing power play -- with only 74 seconds remaining -- to
      send the game into OT. At 9:33 of the extra period, Yvon Lambert took
      a perfect Mario Tremblay pass and converted it for victory that sent
      the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup finals, which they would win for the
      fourth year in a row. To this day, Cherry refuses to name the player
      who wasn't supposed to be on the ice.

      "This was only the eighth time a seventh game had gone into overtime,
      resulting in almost unbearable tension," wrote Robert Fachet in the
      Washington Post. "If anyone is maintaining a list of the 10 most
      exciting hockey games ever played, it may be due for some revision."


      8. L.A. Kings 6, Edmonton Oilers 5 (Smythe Division semifinals, Game
      3, April 10, 1982, one OT)

      In the "Miracle On Manchester," the Oilers led 5-0 after two periods,
      thanks largely to Wayne Gretzky, who scored twice and added two
      assists. But in the third period, the lowly Kings -- they'd finished
      the season with a 24-41-15 record -- caught fire, scoring five goals,
      including one with five seconds left, to send the game into OT. Kings
      rookie Daryl Evans then beat Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr on a 30-foot
      shot at 2:35 of OT for the game winner. The Kings had taken a 2 games
      to 1 lead in the best-of-five series. "I don't know what to say,"
      Gretzky said of the Oilers' collapse. "We didn't play hard all three
      periods." The Kings went on to win the series.


      9. N.Y. Islanders 3, Washington Capitals 2 (Patrick Division
      semifinals, Game 7, April 18, 1987, four OTs)

      The Caps had the home ice advantage --a loud, sellout crowd of
      18,130 -- and came out firing, outshooting the Islanders by a large
      margin. But New York goalie Kelly Hrudey proved a tremendous barrier,
      and kept the Islanders in the game as Bryan Trottier scored on a
      backhander with 5:22 left in the third period to send the 2-2 game
      into OT. At 1:57 a.m., about seven hours after the opening faceoff
      and after 68:47 of OT play, the Islanders Pat LaFontaine slipped one
      past screened Caps goalie Bob Mason for the game winner. At the time,
      it was the fifth-longest game in NHL history.

      "I don't feel the usual elation from a victory," said Hrudey. "As the
      night went on, I didn't even know the velocity of the shots anymore;
      I was too tired to have any emotion. It gets to the point where your
      body doesn't feel anything and your mind plays the game. It was a
      once-in-a-lifetime thing."

      10. Boston Bruins 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (Stanley Cup finals, Game 4,
      1970, one OT)

      Bobby Orr scored 40 seconds into OT to complete the Bruins sweep.
      Moments after the game-winner went past Blues goalie Glenn Hall, Orr,
      after being tripped up by the Blues Noel Picard, was caught on film,
      flying through the air -- frozen in time as hockey's version of
      Superman in one of the most famous sports photos of all time.
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