The Blue Jackets and Lightning decided to open their first-round series Tuesday by playing more than TWO GAMES' worth of hockey in one night.
The Lightning eventually won in the game's fifth - fifth! - overtime on Tuesday night, an unreal start to the teams' best-of-seven series. Playoff hockey is unmatched, overtime playoff hockey even moreso.
And for plenty of hockey fans in the Philadelphia area, the game likely dredged up a flood of memories from one night 20 years ago: the Flyers' Marathon on Ice win over the Penguins in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
It's hard to wrap your head around the numbers, and the stories, that come out of a five-overtime game. The Jackets' Joonas Korpisalo racked up 85 saves on Tuesday night, 13 more than the Penguins' Ron Tugnutt in the Marathon on Ice.
Here's how Tugnutt experienced that game, as told during NBC Sports' "Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice" podcast:
Tugnutt played 152:01 minutes and converted 72 saves. He was the losing goaltender in the Flyers' unforgettable 2-1 five-overtime win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
In that odyssey of a hockey game, Tugnutt said he shed 12 pounds. Twelve pounds.
"I remember needing help going up the stairs by my legs, just I had nothing left," he said on the Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice podcast. "I was drained."
Losing 12 pounds over the course of a month is hard enough. In one night? Because you're busy standing in front of slapshots all night long? Even while you're fueling on pizza and energy drinks between periods?
It's almost unreal.
Tuesday night's game entered the pantheon of the longest hockey games in NHL history, a truly storied list:
1. March 24, 1936: Detroit 1, Montreal (Maroons) 0 | 116:30
2. April 3, 1933: Toronto 1, Boston 0 | 104:46
3. May 4, 2000: Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 1 | 92:01
4. August 11, 2020: Tampa Bay 3, Columbus 2 | 90:27
I can't imagine how Korpisalo is going to feel in the morning. And now the Jackets and Lightning have to go play the rest of the series.
To relive that epic Flyers-Penguins game, you can listen to "Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice" right here, and be happy for playoff hockey - even when that playoff hockey lasts for six hours.
Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!
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