The seventeenth longest game in NHL history was played on Tuesday night in Anaheim. The Anaheim Ducks, hosting the Chicago Blackhawks in game two of the western conference finals, came up on the losing end. In short, the result ties the Anaheim/Chicago Stanley Cup Playoff series at one game each as the series now shifts over to Chicago.
For the longer story the game, although it ended up being a defensive battle, actually started out with some punch. Chicago opened the scoring with a couple of first period powerplay goals, one by Marian Hossa and another by ‘headstrong’ Andrew Shaw. Anaheim would answer back in the first as Andrew Cogliano deflected one by Corey Crawford to end the period at 2-1. There was not much scoring for the remainder of the game however Corey Perry did tally his eighth goal of the post-season at 17:30 of the second to tie the game at two.
The game would remain tied at two for quite a long time afterwards. The third period, a blank for offense, was followed by another blank in the first overtime. However in the second period, for a short time, there appeared to be a game-winning goal.
Shaw, having already scored in the opening frame, hopped a few inches in his skates and directed, with his head, an aloft puck over the shoulder of Frederik Andersen, Anaheim’s goaltender. Shaw then began to celebrate shortly thereafter however the referees disallowed the goal: apparently head butting is only for soccer and professional wrestling as opposed to NHL hockey.
The game would continue until late in the third overtime session when Marcus Kruger scored just his second goal of the post-season, one that sent the Anaheim contingent home unhappy after such an investment of time. At a total of 56 minutes and 12 seconds of overtime, the game sits between two games from the nineties in terms of length, both of them involving the Edmonton Oilers. On April 27th, 1999 Joe Nieuwendyk of the Dallas Stars scored at 57:34 of overtime to end Edmonton’s season in a first round sweep. On May 15th, 1990 Petr Klima scored for Edmonton at 55:13 of overtime in game one of the Stanley Cup finals.
The Chicago/Anaheim series will resume on Thursday from Chicago with a start time of 8pm ET. Anaheim, having surrendered home-ice advantage, will now need to answer back on the road at some point if they are going to win the 2015 western conference finals.