By Daniel Friedman
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On Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks found a way to beat the seemingly unbeatable Frederik Andersen at 16:12 of the third overtime, giving them the win in what became the longest game in franchise history. The ‘Hawks and Ducks competed for 56:12 of extra time and 116:12 total (if you include regulation).
It was quite the stalemate, and though it didn’t crack the top 10 as far as longest games in NHL history are concerned, it was an instant classic. What are the 10 longest skirmishes, you ask? Let’s take a look:
10. New York Islanders at Washington Capitals — April 18, 1987
In the game that will forever be remembered as “The Easter Epic,” Pat LaFontaine’s turnaround shot had eyes, snaked through traffic and found the back of the net. The Isles won at 8:47 of the fourth overtime, 3-2.
9. New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens — March 28, 1930
Gus Rivers scored for Montreal 8:52 into the fourth overtime, giving the Habs a 1-0 series lead. They won the next game as well, sweeping the Rangers in that best-of-three series.
8. San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars — May 4, 2008
Dallas’ Marty Turco and San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov put on a clinic, making for one of the best goaltending duels in NHL history. Finally, at 9:03 of the fourth overtime, Brendan Morrow won the game for Dallas.
7. Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings — March 23, 1943
Jack McLean scored at 10:18 of the fourth overtime to catapult Toronto to a huge playoff road victory.
6. Dallas Stars at Vancouver Canucks — April 11, 2007
The two teams were less than two minutes away from going to a fifth overtime, but Daniel and Henrik Sedin combined to give Vancouver the 5-4 win. Turco was on the losing end for Dallas, but he’d make up for it a year later by helping the Stars win a four-overtime affair against San Jose.
5. Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals — April 24, 1996
With Mario Lemieux unavailable after being ejected earlier in the game, the Penguins needed another hero to rise to the occasion. Enter Petr Nedved, whose power-play goal with just 45 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime gave the Pens a 3-2 victory and knotted the series at 2-2.
4. Anaheim Mighty Ducks at Dallas Stars — April 24, 2003
I don’t know what it is about the name Petr, but guys with that name (Klima, Nedved) seem to score big overtime goals. This time, it was Petr Sykora getting the winning tally. Oh, and the goaltender for Dallas? Turco, who, unbeknownst to him or us at the time, would be in quite a few more of these lengthy contests.
3. Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins — May 4, 2000
Keith Primeau ended Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semis at 12:01 of the fifth overtime, giving Philly the 2-1 victory. They’d go on to win the series.
2. Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs — April 3, 1933
It took six overtimes, but someone finally scored a goal in the hockey game. Unfortunately for the Bruins, they weren’t the ones who did. Ken Doraty’s tally won the dramatic and decisive seventh game for Toronto.
1. Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Maroons — March 24, 1936
Mud Bruneteau’s sixth-overtime marker put Detroit ahead 1-0 in the game and the series. The only real surprise was that Turco wasn’t in goal for Montreal.