10 longest NHL playoff games modern era (with video)

One of the best things about playoff hockey is overtime. Unless my team is in it then I am way too nervous – I can barely watch.

(I did get to see the Flames lose live in double overtime to the Lightning in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. Still brings a tear to my eye)

I had so much fun going through all of these old series and goals. There are so many great moments and goals in them. And, so many of the goals led the team onto series wins and, eventually, Stanley Cups.

Enjoy!

10) Edmonton – Boston Stanley Cup Final May 15, 1990

  • Length: 115:13
  • Total Overtimes: 3
  • Goal: Peter Klima, Edmonton

Analysis: 

This goal had so much to it. First of all, it was played in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals making the longest game to be played in the finals. 

Second of all, it was scored after a 25 minute power failure that happened in the 3rd overtime period. The old Boston Garden had trouble staying cold enough for the ice to begin with and then the power went out in the middle of overtime. 

Finally, the goal was scored by the most unlikely of heroes – Peter Klima. Klima had actually been benched for long periods of time during the game for playing so poorly. He barely had any shifts during the overtime periods, but nobody will ever forget his final shot. 

The win put the Oilers up 1-0 and on the way to their 5th Stanley Cup. 

Game 1 of 1990 Stanley Cup, power failure, long stretches on the bench 

9) Anaheim – Chicago May 20, 2015 Game 2

  • Length: 116:12
  • Overtimes: 3
  • Goal: Marcus Kruger, Chicago

Analysis:

This game took place during the Western Conference Finals. The winners of the series would go on to play for the Stanley Cup.

The Ducks had been a perennial powerhouse and were never able to get it done in the playoffs, and this continued. 

Kruger would score the goal for the Hawks on the way to beating the Ducks in the series before capturing the Stanley Cup.

I think this was the year the Ducks could have won the Cup led by the Getzlaf – Perry – Kesler trio, but in the end the Hawks had their number and I think this was the beginning of the end for them. 

8) Dallas – Edmonton  April 27, 1999

Embed from Getty Images

  • Length: 117:34
  • Overtimes: 3
  • Goal: Joe Nieuwendyk, Dallas

Analysis:

I could not find the video for this goal. That is too bad as Nieuwendyk was one of my favourite players growing up and it is always fun to see the Oilers lose!

This goal was the series clinching goal as Dallas swept Edmonton 4-0. 

For Dallas it made up for being upset by Edmonton two years earlier in the playoffs. 

More importantly, Dallas would go on to win the Stanley Cup this year.

Are you starting to notice a pattern with these overtime goals? Big overtime goals have the effect of propelling teams onto great things for the rest of the playoffs, including Stanley Cups. 

7) Buffalo NJD April 27, 1994 Game 6

  • Length: 125:43
  • Overtimes: 4
  • Goal: Dave Hannan, Buffalo 

Analysis:

The game ended 1-0. Yes, 1-0. The teams played almost seven periods before a goal was scored. 

Why is this? Because, the two goalies playing in the game were perhaps the two greatest of all-time – Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur. 

Hasek and Brodeur put on a goaltending clinic that is unrivaled to this day.  

(And, don’t you absolutely love the call on Hannan’s goal!)

6) Washington – New York Islanders April 18, 1987 Game 7

  • Length: 128:47
  • Overtimes: 4
  • Goal: Pat LaFontaine, NYI

Analysis:

For me this is my favourite on the list. 

There had really been no game like this for 16 years. 1971 is when the last game went to three overtime periods, and 1951 was the last time that a game went to 4 periods. As is more common in the past few decades, playoff hockey games simply were not lasting this long. 

This was the beginning of the more frequent lengthy overtimes in the NHL. 

The game would end at 1:58 am local time on Easter – almost 6 hours after it started. It has become known as the Easter Epic. 

I think I remember watching it, but I was only 12 at the tie and it would have been midnight where I lived – did my parents really let me stay up that late? Probably not 🙂

I absolutely love, love, love the La La LaFontaine call. Brings me chills every time I hear it. 

5) Dallas San Jose April 4, 2008

  • Length: 129:03
  • Overtimes: 4
  • Goal: Brenden Morrow, Dallas

Analysis: What is crazy about this goal is that it happened on the power play? During the 4th overtime period there was a power play. 

The penalty must have been vicious, as no other type of penalty could be justified. Penalties in overtime should not be called unless it is egregious. 

Anyway, the goal by Brendan Morrow eliminated the mighty Sharks team, who were the better team and had as good of a chance of any to win the Stanley Cup. 

4) Vancouver – Dallas April 11, 2007

  • Length: 138:06
  • Overtimes: 4
  • Goal: Henrik Sedin 

Analysis:

Wow! Dallas sure likes to be part of these long games. It really is no surprise give the style of the Dallas Stars during the early 200s – play it safe defensively with not much offence. 

A notable fact about this game is that it was the first game of the playoffs for the teams. I cannot imagine that sets a team up for a long playoff run when you empty the tank in the first game of the playoffs. How do you recover after playing 7 periods of hockey in one night? This had to catch up to them at some point. 

3) Pittsburgh – Washington April 24, 1996 Game 4 

  • Length: 139:15
  • Overtimes: 4
  • Goal: Petr Nedved, Pittsburgh

Analysis:

Washington was always known as a team that could not get it done in the playoffs (until Ovi finally won them the Cup in 2018.) 

The Caps were up 2 games to 1 before losing to the Pens in this epic overtime. The Pens would end up winning the next 2 games after this and sending the Caps home in 6 games.

Did you notice that the teams who won these long overtime games almost always go on to win the series? When the game goes this long the momentum careers over into the rest of the series. 

2) Dallas – Mighty Ducks of Anaheim April 24, 2003 

  • Length: 140:48
  • Overtimes: 5
  • Goal: Petr Sykora, Anaheim 

Analysis: Here we have it again – a big goal in a lengthy overtime that spurs the team onto great playoff success. 

Anaheim was still a relatively new franchise at the time and did not have much playoff success up to this point. However, it all changed with Sykora’s goal. 

Sykora’s goal would give the Ducks the momentum to not only beat the Stars, but it would help send them to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time, where they would lose to the Devils. 

This big goal in overtime is a thing – remember, the Ducks were the seventh seed upsetting the 2nd seed in this series. 

1) Philadelphia – Pittsburgh May 4, 2000

  • Length: 152:01
  • Overtimes: 5
  • Goal: Keith Primeau, Philadelphia

Analysis:

Well, we are here! The longest overtime goal of them all. 

The Flyers were led by the Legion of Boom (Lindros, LeClair, Renberg) at the time, but it was then maligned Keith Primeau who got the goal for the Flyers. 

The Flyers were down in the series 2-1, and the series was really decided that evening. The Flyers scored and ended up winning the next two games to take the series (there is that pattern again). 

The Flyers would end up going to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Stanley Cup champion Devils in 7. 

About the goal: that really was a great individual effort by Primeau to fake the defensemen and then to wrist it in off the crossbar. No chance for the goalie. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Content

%d bloggers like this: