How the Dallas Stars Measure Up When It Comes to Multiple Overtime Games
You want ridiculously long multiple overtime games? More than any other team in the NHL, the Stars know about ridiculously long multiple overtime games.
The triple overtime Game 2 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday was history making for both teams.
Marcus Kruger's winner with 16:12 gone in the third overtime was the 17th-longest game in NHL history and the longest in the storied history of the Blackhawks. It was also the longest game in Honda Center history, which isn't really fair when you think about what the Ducks put the Dallas Stars through in the early days of the American Airlines Center.
The Stars are no stranger to multiple overtime games in their franchise history, with six of the longest 50 games in NHL history and five of the top 20. Those five in the top 20 are the most in the NHL, and the six in the top 50 are the most of a non-Original Six team.
All six of those games occurred with in a 10 season span - 1999 to 2008 - because that era's Stars wanted all their fans to die of stress-related ulcers.
So in celebration of really dehydrated hockey players inhaling fruit, Gatorade and other necessities between periods, here's a look back at the five longest games in Dallas franchise history, from shortest, as it were, to longest.
Stars 2, Sabres 1, 14:51 into the 3rd OT - June 19, 1999 (19th overall)
Let's start with the best of the best, shall we?
Beyond the legality of the winning goal, which we can discuss in the comments if anyone is still that interested, this game was the culmination of a war of attrition between the uber-talented Stars and the extremely determined Buffalo Sabres. There were all sorts of stories of the injuries Stars played through in the series - Benoit Hogue a torn ACL, Brett Hull a torn groin muscle and MCL, Mike Modano with his fractured wrist.
Given that the Stars had the ultra-heavy pair of Derian Hatcher and Richard Matvichuk more than willing to take on guys like Miroslav Satan, Stu Barnes and Michael Peca, both teams were being held together by sock tape and braces by this point of the series.
What makes the length of this game so remarkable is the fact that is occurred so late in the playoffs, when so many players are banged up. It may be 19th overall in the whole playoffs, but it's the second longest in Finals history and the longest ever to clinch the Cup. Only Game 1 in 1990 between the Oilers and Bruins was longer, and only by 22 seconds.
Stars 3, Oilers 2, 17:34 into the 3rd OT - April 27, 1999 (16th overall)
Speaking of those Oilers, here they are in what was, at the time, the longest game in Stars history. The Stars were up 3-0 in the series but hadn't won any game by more than one goal, and this one would be no different.
Sergei Zubov played a whopping 57 minutes in this game (presumably while smoking cigarettes at every intermission), and Ed Belfour posted a 0.949 save percentage by allowing two goals on 39 shots. That was nothing compared to poor Tommy Salo, though, who made 53 saves of 55 shots before Zubov's shot deflected off the knee of Joe Nieuwendyk and past him.
The Oilers were a tough bunch at the time with speed to burn in a young Bill Guerin, Doug Weight and Todd Marchant, but the Stars had revenge on their minds in their first series against Edmonton since the upset in 1997.
Stars 2, Sharks 1, 9:03 into the 4th OT - May 4, 2008 (8th overall)
Sometimes affectionately referred to as Cinco de Morrow (since this didn't end until May 5 in the Central time zone), Game 6 of the second round series against the Sharks had a little bit of everything from a Stars perspective.
There was the teeth-grinding drama of trying to hold on to what had been a 3-0 series lead, a beautiful opening goal from Antti Miettinen, some terrific saves from Marty Turco after a bit of a worrying performance in games 4 and 5 and, of course, Brenden Morrow himself, with the huge hit on Milan Michalek late in regulation and the game winner several hours later.
The Stars were outshot 62-55 in this one but it was never dominated by either team. In fact, the Stars had by far the most dangerous chance in the earlier overtimes when Evgeni Nabokov absolutely robbed Brad Richards with a glove save and flabbered Razor's gast.
This is the second-longest series-deciding game in NHL history behind a six-overtime affair between the Bruins and Maple Leafs from 1933. And for Stars fans, it can basically be summed up in two words.
Canucks 5, Stars 4, 18:06 into the 4th OT - April 11, 2007 (6th overall)
In a string of Stars running into ridiculous goalies, this one may take the cake. In his playoff debut, Roberto Luongo made 72 (!) saves on 76 shots, and he more than any other reason was the reason the Canucks were able to win Game 1 of the first round series. The Stars outshot the Canucks 76-48 overall.
The finger of blame was pointed at Turco, who dropped to 0-5 in series openers with this loss. But he turned it on the rest of this series. The Stars forced seven games but could only win via shutout.
In Game 1, it was Henrik Sedin who got to play the hero after his brother found him open in the slot. It reached that point because Ladislav Nagy, in like his finest moment in green and gold, tied the game midway through the third. Morrow, Miettinen and Trevor Daley also scored in the game.
Mighty Ducks 4, Stars 3, 0:48 in to the 5th OT - April 24, 2003 (4th overall)
This is the game that will haunt my sports-fan nightmares forever.
Late in my freshman year at SMU, a friend let me and my dad have season tickets for Game 1 of the second round. Things looked well set up for the first-seeded Stars at that point. They'd had the usual vanquishing of the Edmonton Oilers already, and both the powerful second and third seeded Red Wings and Avalanche had lost their first round series.
But them came freaking Jean-Sebastien Giguere and the horseshoe he had strapped to his hockey pants. The Stars outshot the then-Mighty Ducks 63-54 in the game and both teams had goals waived off in overtime before Petr Sykora ended the fifth OT when it had scarcely begun.
The Stars never led in the game - indeed, they came back from a 3-1 deficit with a late game-tying goal from Morrow, and they would never lead in the series as Anaheim won yet another overtime game in Game 2 before taking the series in six on their way to losing in the Cup finals to the Devils. Giguere was on such a ridiculous tear this postseason that he, not one of the Devils, was awarded the Conn Smythe.
This was, bar none, the strangest I've ever felt coming out of a sporting event. It's one thing to see a bad loss in the regular season or even the playoffs. It's another entirely to devote seven hours to hockey and not have the emotional release of a win.