In the wake of Thursday's triple-overtime game between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their opening-round series, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was asked about the longest playoff game he'd been involved with as a player.
As it turns out, Bylsma actually didn't play in the longest playoff game. But it was back in 2003, when he was a member of the Anaheim Ducks, playing for current Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock against the Dallas Stars in the first game of the Western Conference semifinals, and the Ducks defeated the Stars on Petr Sykora's goal early in the fifth overtime period.
"I have been hit a lot in the head, so my facts might be a little bit messed up, but I think it was the beginning of the fifth overtime. J.S. Giguere was the goalie, Petr Sykora was on that team, Adam Oates,” Bylsma recalled. "What I remember is J.S. Giguere's always had ... he loses a lot of weight during games. He's had dehydration problems during games, and I remember him getting IVs in between periods, and I remember the shift length of the beginning of the last overtime. It was the second shift of the overtime that the game ended on the goal.
"The first shift, Keith Carney was our defenseman. We won the draw, he shot the puck off the wall to their defenseman, it came back to him, he shot the puck back to our forwards, who went into the zone and he changed. It was the beginning of the period; we'd just rested for 15, 18 minutes, and all he had in him was about 20 seconds of just shooting the puck up back and forth, and he got off the ice and we scored that subsequent shift. And I remember thinking, I don't know if this could have gone any longer."