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  • Writer's pictureDerek Ochej

Longest overtime games of the 1990s

One of the unique aspects of playoff hockey is the potential for games to extend for hours at a time. Players are exhausted, fans are restless and then the magic moment happens and an instant hero is born. The magnitude of these moments is only increased if it happens to be an elimination game deeper into the playoff rounds.

Without further ado, I present to you the six longest overtime games of the 1990s:

1. 1996 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, Game 4. Pittsburgh 3 Washington 2, 79:15 (4OT)

In the longest game of the 1990s, Pittsburgh erased a 2-0 deficit in the game, and levelled the series at 2-2 after falling behind 2-0. A game that lasts seven periods has plenty of notable moments: Mario Lemieux was ejected in the second period for instigating a fight courtesy of Caps Todd Krygier. Tom Barrasso would leave the game after the first period due to injury and backup Ken Wregget would stop a Joe Juneau penalty shot in double overtime.

Wregget would get the win, making 53 saves, with Olaf Kolzig making 62 saves in a losing effort.

2. 1994 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, Game 6. Buffalo 1 New Jersey 0, 65:43 (4OT)

It’s hard to believe a one-goal game could be a classic, but with two of the greatest goalies of all-time squaring off, this one is a classic for sure. Buffalo would stave off elimination and force a Game 7, with Dave Hannan atoning for a tripping penalty in the first overtime period by scoring the winner in quadruple overtime.

Dominik Hasek made 70 saves for the shutout, with Martin Brodeur making 59 saves in the loss.

3. 1999 Western Conference Quarter-Finals, Game 4. Dallas 3 Edmonton 2, 57:34 (3OT)

In the third of six consecutive playoff match ups between the two franchises, Joe Nieuwendyk would complete the Stars’ sweep of the Oilers by scoring in triple overtime. After the Oilers upset the Stars in seven games in the 1997 Western Conference Quarter-Finals, the Stars would eliminate the Oilers in five of the next six playoffs.

Ed Belfour would only be required to make 37 saves in the win, with Tommy Salo of the Oilers stopping 53 saves in the loss. The Stars would go on to win the Stanley Cup this season via another long overtime game.

4. 1990 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1. Edmonton 3 Boston 2, 55:13 (3OT)

The first game of the 1990 Stanley Cup Finals is known for the power outage that caused a 25 minute delay, harkening back to the 1988 Cup Finals in which a blown transformer caused Game 4 between the same two teams to be abandoned and replayed in its entirety two days later.

This time Petr Klima, who hardly played in the previous overtime periods, would score the winner. Bill Ranford made 50 saves for the win, with Andy Moog only making 28 saves.

5. 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6. Dallas 2 Buffalo 1, 54:41 (3OT)

The infamous no goal game! With only four minor penalties called the entire game (all in the second period), Brett Hull would score the winner in triple overtime to clinch the Dallas Stars their first Stanley Cup. Eddie Belfour would make 53 saves in the win, with Dominik Hasek on the losing end this time with 48 saves.

6. 1996 Western Conference Quarter-Finals, Game 4. Chicago 2 Calgary 1, 50:02 (3OT)

In the least famous of the games listed here, the Blackhawks would complete a sweep of Calgary courtesy of a Joe Murphy goal resulting from a bad giveaway by Trent Yawney. Even more heart-breaking for Flames fans was the fact that Jeremy Roenick tied the game with nine seconds remaining in the third period.

Ed Belfour makes his third appearance on this list, making 55 saves for the win, with Rick Tabaracci making 41 saves in the loss.

Card 201 - Joe Mullen

A right winger, Mullen signed as a free agent with St. Louis in 1979. He would play four seasons with Boston College and spend two seasons in the CHL with Salt Lake City, winning league MVP in 1981, before making his NHL debut in the 1980 playoffs, appearing in a single game.

After playing in 45 games in 1981-82 with the Blues (scoring 25 goals and 59 points), 1983-84 would be his first full NHL season, scoring 41 goals and 85 points. It would be his first of six straight seasons of 40+ goals, and he would finish as runner up to Jari Kurri for the Lady Byng Trophy.

In February 1986 Mullen would be traded to Calgary in a six-player swap. He would pay immediate dividends for the Flames, scoring 38 points in 29 regular season games and 12 goals in the playoffs as the Flames would make it to the Stanley Cup Finals before losing to Montreal.

In 1986-87 Mullen would win his first Lady Byng Trophy, and lead the NHL with 12 game-winning goals. 1988-89 would bring him career-highs in goals (51) and points (110). Additionally Mullen would lead the NHL with a +51 rating, be named a first team all-star and win his second Byng Trophy, while finishing fifth in Hart Trophy voting. He would cap off a year of individual accomplishments by winning his first Cup, leading the playoffs with 16 goals.

The Flames would burn out brightly after winning the 1989 Cup, and Mullen would be traded to Pittsburgh in the summer of 1990 for a second round pick. Happy to be back in his home country, Mullen would win two Cups with the Pens in 1991 and 1992, scoring 42 goals in 1991-92, the seventh time he would break the 40-goal barrier.

Towards the end of his career Mullen miss a significant number of games due to a bad back, as evident by the awesome neck roll he is wearing in this card. In 1995-96 he would sign as a free agent with Boston, playing 37 games before returning to Pittsburgh for one final season in 1996-97 before retiring.

In a 16-year career, Mullen played in 1062 games, scoring 502 goals and 1063 points. He was the first US-born player to score 500 goals and 1000 points and at the time of his retirement was the highest scoring US-born player of all-time (he currently sits seventh). Mullen played in three all-star games (1989, 1990 and 1994) and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2000.

He briefly came out of retirement in 1999 to play for the United States, which was required to play in a qualifying tournament to avoid relegation at the World Championships. Since that time he has been an assistant coach with Pittsburgh (2000-06) and Philadelphia (2007-17) with two brief stints as a head coach with both respective franchises’ AHL teams.

YouTube clip: the introduction video from his Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Card 202 - Dave Capuano

A college standout at Maine, the left winger was drafted 25th overall by Pittsburgh in 1986. In his three seasons as a Black Bear, Capuano would captain the team in his junior year and be a two-time Hobey Baker award finalist.

Capuano would turn pro in the 1989-90 season, playing six games with the Pens and spending time in Muskegon in the IHL before a January 1990 trade to Vancouver in a six-player swap. He would wrap his rookie season with 27 games with the Canucks, scoring three goals and eight points.

1990-91 would be Capuano’s best of his short career, playing 61 games, scoring 13 goals and 44 points. The following season would see him play the majority of the time in the AHL before a trade early in the 1992-93 season to Tampa Bay for Alex Selivanov. Capuano would play six games with the Lightning before a June 1993 trade to San Jose for Peter Ahola.

1993-94 would turn out to be his final pro season, playing four games for the Sharks before a trade to Boston that would see him play his final season for his home state Providence Bruins of the AHL. Over four NHL seasons Capuano would play in 104 games, scoring 17 goals and 55 points. His brother Jack also played briefly in the NHL and is currently an assistant coach with the Ottawa Senators.

Dave is still involved in the game, having coached high level youth hockey in Rhode Island and providing NHL analysis for WPRI in Rhode Island.

YouTube clip: scoring the final goal of his NHL career, on March 20, 1993, in a 3-1 Lightning loss to Buffalo.

Card 203 - Paul Stanton

A defenceman, Stanton was drafted straight of high school, 149th overall by Pittsburgh in 1985. He would play four seasons at Wisconsin and one season in the IHL before making his NHL debut in 1990-91. Stanton would play in 75 games, scoring five goals and 23 points, all career-highs. To cap off his rookie season, he would play in 22 playoff games and win his first Stanley Cup.

For an encore, Stanton would play 54 regular season games and 21 playoff games (scoring eight points) in 1991-92, winning a second Cup with the Pens. In October 1993 he would be traded to Boston for a third round pick, scoring three goals and 10 points with the Bruins that season.

Prior to the start of the lockout shortened 1994-95 season he would be traded to the Islanders for a draft pick. Stanton would play 18 games on Long Island, spending most of the season in the AHL and IHL.

Beginning with the 1995-96 season, Stanton would play for Adler Mannheim in Germany for six seasons, followed by two other franchises in the DEL from 2000 to 2004. During his time in Germany, Stanton would win four league titles (1997-1999 and 2004). His final pro season was in 2004-05 with Malmo in Sweden.

Over his five season NHL career Stanton played in 295 games, scoring 14 goals and 63 points. In retirement he has coached hockey with Florida Gulf Coast University, and currently owns a custom home building company in Naples, Florida.

YouTube clip: scoring the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory against Washington on January 29, 1991.

Card 204 - Terry Carkner

A defenceman, Carkner was drafted 14th overall by the New York Rangers in 1984. He would play two seasons in Peterborough of the OHL (winning most outstanding defenceman in 1986) before making his NHL debut in 1986-87, playing in 52 games and scoring 15 points.

In September 1987 he would be traded to Quebec with Jeff Jackson for John Ogrodnick and David Shaw. Carkner would play one season with the Nords before a trade in the summer 1988 to Philadelphia. His first season as a Flyer would be a career-best, scoring 11 goals and 43 points. More of a defensive-minded defenceman, Carkner would play 5 seasons in Philly, acting as assistant captain from 1991-93.

Prior to the 1993-94 season he would be traded to Detroit for Yves Racine and a draft pick. He would play two seasons in Detroit before signing with the Florida Panthers for the 1995-96 season. Carkner would experience a career renaissance with Florida, appearing in 22 playoff games as the team would make a Cinderella run to the 1996 Stanley Cup Finals before getting swept by Colorado. After two additional seasons in Florida, Carkner would retire at the end of the 1998-99 season.

In a 13 year career Carkner played in 858 games, scoring 42 goals and 230 points, and recording 1588 penalty minutes. From 2016-2019 he was head coach of the midget Philadelphia Junior Flyers women’s team, previously having coached at Villanova University.

YouTube clip: getting jumped by Shane Churla during his time with Detroit, sparking a brawl.

Card 205 - Jon Casey

A Hobey Baker finalist and goaltender with North Dakota, Casey would sign with Minnesota in April 1984, making his NHL debut shortly after signing, appearing in two games. Over the next four seasons Casey would split time between the NHL and AHL, winning the AHL’s best goalie award and being named a first-team all-star in 1984-85; he would appear in 40 games with the Stars over these four seasons, winning 12.

With the trade of North Stars’ starter Don Beaupre, Casey would take over as the starting goalie for the 1988-89 season, posting a 18-17-12 record. The following season he would win a career-high 31 games to lead the NHL and finish sixth in Vezina Trophy voting. 1991 would see a Minnesota team that won only 27 regular season games make its way to the Cup Finals, with Casey leading the playoffs in games played (23) and wins (14), but coming up just short against Pittsburgh.

June 1993 would see Casey traded to Boston to complete an earlier trade that landed Minnesota Gord Murphy. In one season in Boston Casey would win 30 games for the second time in his career. In 1994-95 he would sign with St. Louis, playing in 44 games over three seasons as backup to Curtis Joseph. 1997-98 would see Casey play one final season in the AHL before retiring from pro hockey.

Over a 12 season career Casey played in 425 games, posting a 170-157-55 record, 3.22 goals against average and .888 save percentage. He would also play in the 1993 all-star game.

YouTube clip: making an insane save on New Jersey’s Bill Guerin in the 1994 playoffs.

Card 206 - Ken Wregget

A goalie, Wregget was drafted 45th overall by Toronto in 1982. After being drafted he would play two seasons with Lethbridge of the WHL before making his NHL debut at the end of the 1983-84 seasons, playing in three games with the Leafs.

In the 1984-85 and 85-86 seasons he would bounce between St. Catharines in the AHL and the Leafs, playing in 53 NHL games, winning only 11. The Leafs of the 1980s were bad, but Wregget helped author a major upset in the 1986 playoffs. The Leafs would sweep the Norris Division champion Chicago Blackhawks and almost come back from a 3-2 series deficit to defeat St. Louis.

In 1986-87 Wregget would take over as the starter, winning 22 games, while also leading the league in losses with 38; the following season he would lead the league in losses again, this time with 35. In March 1989 Wregget would be traded to Philadelphia for two first round picks, who the Leafs would use to select Rob Pearson and Steve Bancroft (yikes!). With the Flyers he would play back up to Ron Hextall, although he would lead the 1989 playoffs in save percentage (.928).

In his first full season with the Flyers he would win 22 games, but a crowded crease with Ron Hextall and Pete Peeters would limit his opportunities. In February 1992 Wregget would be sent to Pittsburgh as part of the Rick Tocchet - Mark Recchi trade. In his first season as back up to Tom Barrasso, Wregget would win a Stanley Cup.

From 1993 to 1996 he would win 20+ games per season, including 25 in the lockout shortened 1994-95 as Barrasso missed most of the season to injury (Wregget would finish fifth in Vezina voting). Barrasso’s return would see Wregget relegated to back up duty, and in the 1998 off-season he would be dealt to Calgary. He would play 27 games with the Flames (winning 10) before signing with Detroit for the 1999-00 season. 2000-01 would Wregget’s final pro season, with Manitoba in the AHL.

Over 17 seasons Wregget would play in 575 games, posting a 225-248-53 record, 3.65 goals against average and .885 save percentage. In retirement he has overcome some health issues (as detailed in this Athletic article) and owns a successful sports bar in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.

YouTube clip: as teased above, stopping Joe Juneau on a penalty shot in double OT of Game 4 of 1996 Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals.

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