In an epic game in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Florida Panthers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in game one of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs from PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. Panthers winger Matt Tkachuk of Scottsdale, Arizona scored with 12.7 seconds left in the fourth overtime period in what turned out to be the sixth longest game in Stanley Cup Playoff history. Tkachuk scored from Sam Bennett of Holland Landing, Ontario.
What were the five longest games?
Mud Bruneteau of St. Boniface, Manitoba scored the overtime winner at 16:30 of the sixth overtime period for the Detroit Red Wings in a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on March 24, 1936. Ken Doraty of Stittsville, Ontario scored the overtime winner at 4:46 of the sixth overtime period for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on April 3, 1933. Keith Primeau of Toronto, Ontario scored the overtime winner at 12:01 of the fifth overtime period for the Philadelphia Flyers in a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 4, 2000. Brayden Point of Calgary, Alberta scored the overtime winner at 10:27 of the fifth overtime period for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on August 11, 2020. Petr Sykora of Plzen, Czech Republic scored the overtime winner at the 48 second mark of the fifth overtime period for the Anaheim Ducks in a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars on April 24, 2003.
Thousands of empty seats
As overtime continued, remarkably fans in Carolina continued to leave. According to Chris Cuthbert, the Stanley Cup Playoff play-by-play commentator for Rogers Sportsnet, about one-third of the spectators at PNC Arena just left. The Hurricanes fan base that decided to go missed out on witnessing hockey history. Yes the game finished at 1:55 AM ET, but it would hard to believe if a third of the fanbase would leave during overtime for a Carolina Panthers National Football League playoff game or a Charlotte Hornets National Basketball Association playoff game.