One of the best parts of the NHL playoffs is the potential for marathon overtime games. As a kid I can remember it *sometimes* meaning I could stay up a little longer to watch a game and as I got older it simply became a marvel to watch. Whether it's watching seemingly immortal players be reduced to mere mortals or seeing grinders turn into heroes with one shot, there is something special about a game that goes into the next morning.
Although you can't find videos (or it's very hard to) of the longest games in recorded history, I decided that this week I was going to feature some of the games that have gone the distance and then some.
1936: Montreal Vs. Detroit (Game Played in Montreal)
The longest game in NHL history featured the Montreal Maroons and the Detroit Red Wings and lasted nearly three full games. Detroit goalie, Normie Smith made 90 saves in the 1-0 shutout while Red Wings rookie, Mud Bruneteau (pictured above) scored the game winner with just a little over three minutes to play in 6OT. This incredible game went on until 2:25am and shattered the records before it. Detroit would go on to win the series.
1933: Toronto Vs. Boston (Game Played in Toronto)
Before the monster that was Game 1 of the 1936 Stanley Cup Finals, the longest game in NHL history belonged to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. The bout lasted just over 104 minutes longer than scheduled and just like Detroit and Montreal, it was also a 1-0 final. Toronto's Ken Doraty was the hero that evening scoring the game winner. A man who had become something of an overtime hero in the past being the only player to score a hat trick in overtime....that's right, during the regular season back then, overtime lasted 10 minutes and were not sudden death. Toronto would go on to win the series.
2000: Philadelphia Vs. Pittsburgh
Fast Forward to the new millennium and you'll find a 5 OT game between inner state rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. Philly's Keith Primeau would score the game winner for the Flyers to tie the series up 2-2. Philly would also end up winning the series.
2003: Anaheim Mighty Ducks Vs. Dallas Stars
Three days later and you find another game played into the 5th OT period, this time featuring the Ducks back when they were "Mighty" and the Dallas Stars. Earlier controversy lead to a feeling of justice when Petr Sykora netted the winner. The Mighty Ducks would go on to take the series.
1996: Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. Washington Capitals
The fifth longest game in history coincidentally happened on the same day of the year as the fourth longest, but seven years earlier. A game that included Ken Wregget saving a penalty shot, as well as Mario Lemieux being ejected finally ended with Petr Nedved.....coincidentally the same given name as the game winning goal scorer for Anaheim seven years later. Just live every other one of these series, the winners in this marathon overtime game would go on to win their series as well.