The Rangers and Capitals needed three overtimes and a Marian Gaborik goal to decide Game 3 of their second-round playoff series, in a game that was the third-longest in Washington franchise history, the fifth-longest in Blueshirts history and the 20th-longest in league history. Which are the best playoff overtime goals ever scored? That’s our focus of this week’s THN.com Top 10:
It was Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final and three overtime periods were needed before Klima took a feed from Jari Kurri and wired a wrist shot through the legs of Andy Moog to end the longest game in Cup final history.
It was the best-of-five, first-ever Battle Of Quebec and the deciding game went into overtime. But not for long, as Hunter and Nordiques teammate Real Cloutier had a 2-on-1 on Rick Wamsley early in the first overtime and Hunter backhanded a shot in to win the passionately contested series.
Canucks defenseman Jeff Brown made a beautiful pass from Vancouver’s blueline up the middle to a streaking Bure, who broke in alone on Flames goalie Mike Vernon and scored in double overtime to send the Canucks on to the second round (and eventually the Stanley Cup final).
Fleury had a fantastic career, but one of the things he is most remembered for is his sliding, spinning celebration after he took the puck behind the red line and scored on Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr, sending the series to a deciding seventh game.
The first of the Islanders’ four Stanley Cups was won on a 2-on-1 Nystrom finished with a backhand tip past Flyers goalie Pete Peeters in the first overtime of Game 6. The Isles retired Nystrom’s No. 23 jersey in 1995.
Arguably the greatest goal Yzerman ever scored started when St. Louis’ Wayne Gretzky couldn’t handle the puck at the Detroit blueline and Yzerman grabbed it and raced into the Blues end, firing a perfect shot over the right shoulder of Blues goalie Jon Casey in the second overtime of Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
When Larionov picked up the puck inside the Hurricanes’ blueline in the third overtime of Game 3 of Detroit’s Stanley Cup final series against Carolina, he could have passed to teammate Mathieu Dandenault, who was closer to Canes goalie Arturs Irbe on a 2-on-1. Instead, he deked past a Carolina defenseman and scored one of the prettiest backhand goals you’ll ever see to give the Red Wings a 2-1 series lead.
The famous “Easter Epic” game was decided in the fourth overtime on the flukiest of shots – LaFontaine recently told THN he never shot a puck the same way again – and gave the Isles a seven-game series win after they had trailed 3-1 in games.
May wasn’t ever a skilled goal-scorer at the NHL level, but in the first overtime of Game 5 of the Sabres’ series against Boston, he took a pass from Pat LaFontaine (who was lying on the ice at the time), deked Hall of Fame blueliner Ray Bourque, then scored past sprawled out Bruins goalie Andy Moog to win the first round series.
The measuring stick by which all other playoff and overtime goals are measured, Orr’s Stanley Cup-winner was as picturesque as it was timely. It doesn’t get any better than seeing hockey’s greatest defenseman, arms raised and flying through the air parallel to the ice after he won it all for the Bruins.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.