History was on the Lightning’s side entering double overtime of Game 5 against the Dallas Stars in Edmonton. Before Saturday night, Tampa Bay held a 7-1 overtime edge in the postseason.
But a possible Stanley Cup championship will have to wait for Game 6 (8 p.m. Monday) as Tampa Bay fell 3-2 to the Stars.
It was a crazy 28 hours for both teams, who played 155 minutes, 57 seconds over the span of back-to-back games. The Lightning’s nine overtime contests this postseason are the highest count in the league and third most by a team ever.
All of Tampa Bay’s previous series clinchers finished in past regulation (two extra periods against Columbus in Round 1, two extras against Boston in Round 2, one against New York in the conference final).
The Lightning’s back-to-back overtime contests with Dallas also are a league first for a Cup final.
“If that game went any longer, I don’t know if there would have been any goals scored,” coach Jon Cooper said after the loss. “I think both teams were pretty tired.”
A long shift
It’s no secret that Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman posts a lot of minutes on the ice every game. But Saturday’s 3:03 shift in the second period may have been a record for him.
Hedman hopped over the boards with 6:30 remaining in the period and was stuck in the Lightning’s d-zone for about a minute, helping his team against quality looks from the Stars.
After a bit of back and forth with Dallas, including an icing call, Hedman was finally able to come off the ice with 3:27 remaining in the frame, the first time in his shift that Tampa Bay was able to keep the puck out of their own d-zone thanks to a shot from Ondrej Palat that was saved by Anton Khudobin.
Hedman entered Saturday with the Lightning’s highest average time on ice (26:05) behind goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (67:46). Ryan McDonagh trails him for second among the skaters with 23:58 and Mikhail Sergachev is third with 22:49.