If there’s one thing the Stanley Cup playoffs bring each year, it’s drama. Upsets, seventh games, veterans striving for their first Cup and young players getting a taste of what it takes to win make the NHL post-season grind unique.
And then, of course, there’s overtime.
Some of the greatest playoff games in NHL history have gone to an extra period…or six. This week the THN Top 10 offers up the most memorable overtime moments in NHL history.
10. Dallas 2 – San Jose 1
May 4, 2008 (9:03 of the fourth overtime period)
Brenden Morrow ended an exhausting conference semifinal that saw four of six games go to overtime. Morrow’s power play goal came courtesy Sharks defenseman Brian Campbell, who put the puck over the glass from inside his blueline.
9. Philadelphia 2 – Pittsburgh 1
May 4, 2000 (12:01 of the fifth overtime period)
With fans sleeping in the stands, Keith Primeau ended the third-longest game in NHL history with his first career playoff goal. Primeau’s marker tied the conference semifinal 2-2; the Flyers took the series in six games.
8. NY Islanders 3 – Washington 2
April 18, 1987 (8:47 of the fourth overtime period)
Pat LaFontaine’s seeing-eye slapper from the top of the faceoff circle ends the longest Game 7 in NHL history. Islanders goalie Kelly Hrudey makes an incredible 73 saves in backstopping his team to a first-round victory, while Caps netminder Bob Mason stops a “mere” 54 shots.
7. Detroit 1 – Montreal Maroons 0
March 24, 1936 (16:30 of the sixth overtime period)
Mud Bruneteau ends the longest game in NHL history with a goal that’s remembered as the result of fatigue, rather than skill. Detroit goes on to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final. If they had TV then, this might be No. 1.
6. Detroit 4 – NY Rangers 3
April 23, 1950 (8:31 of the second overtime period)
Pete Babando scores the winner in the first Stanley Cup final Game 7 to go to overtime. Four years later, another Red Wing – Tony Leswick – pots the game-winner in the last Cup final series to go to overtime in Game 7.
5. Montreal 3 – Calgary 2
May 18, 1986 (0:09 of the first overtime period)
Brian Skrudland wastes little time recording the fastest overtime goal in NHL playoff history. The Canadiens capture their 23rd Stanley Cup at the expense of the Flames. Calgary gets redemption three years later, though, beating Montreal for the franchise’s only Cup in 1989.
4. Toronto 3 – Montreal 2
April 21, 1951 (2:53 of the first overtime period)
Bill Barilko scores in Game 5 – the fifth game in a row needing extra time – to clinch the Cup for the Leafs. Barilko disappears that summer when his plane goes down while returning from a fishing trip in northern Quebec. It is more than a decade later when Barilko’s remains are found.
3. Montreal 3 – Los Angeles 2
June 7, 1993 (14:37 in the first overtime period)
In the Year of Overtime, when 1-in-3 games went to extra time, the Canadiens were the Team of Overtime, playing into a fourth period in 11 of 20 games. On June 7 they won their 10th overtime game setting a record likely to never be broken. Two days later, Montreal won Game 5 and captured their 24th Stanley Cup.
2. Boston 4 – St. Louis 3
May 10, 1970 (0:40 of the first overtime period)
Bobby Orr scores the Cup-clincher in Game 4 and then gets airborne, creating one of the most iconic photographs in sport. The goal gives Boston its first championship in 29 years and cements Orr’s legacy as one of the most beloved sports figures in Boston history.
1. NY Islanders 5 – Philadelphia 4
May 24, 1980 (7:11 of the first overtime period)
Bob Nystrom swats in the series winner in Game 6 of the final for the Islanders, starting a run of four consecutive Cups for the first dynasty of the 1980s. (The Oilers are soon to follow.)
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