The NHL’s Eastern Conference finals might not feature two historic hockey organizations, but if the rest of the series between the Panthers and Hurricanes plays out like Game 1, we’re going to have a classic on our hands.
Not to mention sleep deprivation.
Florida continued its red-hot ways, even after a lengthy layoff, when Matthew Tkachuk potted the game-winning goal with 13 seconds left in the fourth overtime to win Game 1. Tkachuk’s goal came at 1:54 a.m. ET Friday morning after the Thursday night start.
All told, the two teams played nearly 140 full minutes of hockey, meaning they played the equivalent of more than two games in one night.
A deep dive into the box score reveals some absolutely bananas stats.
— The two teams combined for 125 shots on goal. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 63 shots for Florida, while Carolina’s Frederik Andersen only turned away 57.
— Carolina’s Paul Stastny was the only player in the entire game who didn’t record a shot on goal. In fact, he didn’t even take a shot, nor did he record a hit, giveaway, takeaway or blocked shot in 24 minutes and 11 seconds of ice time. He did take 10 faceoffs, winning six.
— The two teams combined to attempt for 271 shot attempts.
— Five players, all defensemen, recorded at least 50 minutes of ice time. No skater was on the ice more than Florida D-man Brandon Montour, who recorded 57:56 and was a plus-3 while tying for a game-high eight shots on goal.
— Florida’s Aleksander Barkov took 55 of the game’s 143 faceoffs. He won 30 of those draws.
— Carolina defenseman Brent Burns, who logged a game-high 71 shifts, blocked 10 shots.
It could have been a much shorter night, too. Florida’s Ryan Lomberg appeared to win the game just a couple of minutes into the first overtime, but that potential game-winner was overturned due to goaltender interference.
Just about anything would be considered a short turnaround after Game 1, and the second contest is slated for Saturday night, a game that probably will go to the team who’s most able to recover from Thursday night’s (Friday morning’s) marathon.