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What’s the longest game in Calgary Flames history?

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
10 months ago
On Thursday night, the Carolina Hurricanes and the Florida Panthers played a lot of ice hockey. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final series, they played just shy of four full overtime periods before Matthew Tkachuk mercifully ended the game with 12.6 seconds left in the fourth overtime.
In the aftermath of such a long, long game, we decided to dive in to answer a simple question: what’s the longest game in Calgary Flames history?
Well, the good news is that the Flames have never played in a game that went four overtimes.
The longest game in Flames history was Game 4 of the 1996 Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 23, 1996. In Jarome Iginla’s second NHL game ever – he debuted 48 hours prior in Game 3 – the Flames lost 2-1 midway through the third overtime (after 50:02 of extra play), with Chicago’s Joe Murphy beating Rick Tabaracci to end things. The Flames wouldn’t play another playoff game until 2004.
Oddly enough, their second-longest game was during that 2004 run. In Game 6 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks on April 17, 2004, the Flames had a chance to eliminate the Canucks and win a series (for the first time since the 1989 Stanley Cup Final). Their jubilation was prevented by a triple overtime loss to the Canucks, with Brendan Morrison scoring after 42:28 of extra time to extend the series. (The Flames would beat the Canucks in another wild overtime affair in Game 7 to finally advance two days later.)
That’s it, though: just two trips to triple overtime, both losses. If you extend the trip down memory lane to include double overtimes as well, that includes another seven games:
  • 1989 Stanley Cup Final, Game 3 (May 19, 1989): Montreal beat Calgary 4-3 after 38:08 of overtime
  • 1981 preliminary round, Game 3 (April 11, 1981): Calgary beat Chicago 5-4 after 35:17 of overtime [eliminated Chicago]
  • 2007 Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 6 (April 22, 2007): Detroit beat Calgary 2-1 after 24:23 of overtime [eliminated Calgary]
  • 1990 Smythe Division semi-final, Game 6 (April 14, 1990): Los Angeles beat Calgary 4-3 after 23:14 of overtime [eliminated Calgary]
  • 1994 Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 7 (April 30, 1994): Vancouver beat Calgary 4-3 after 22:20 of overtime [eliminated Calgary]
  • 1995 Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 7 (May 19, 1995): San Jose beat Calgary 5-4 after 21:54 of overtime [eliminated Calgary]
  • 2004 Stanley Cup Final, Game 6 (June 5, 2004): Tampa Bay beat Calgary 3-2 after 20:33 of overtime
Aside from the 1989 Cup Final double overtime game, every single lengthy OT game in Flames history has been a game where one of the two teams could have been eliminated. In five of Calgary’s nine lengthy OT games, they were the team eliminated. Heck, it happened in back-to-back years in very similar circumstances. (Spooky, eh?)
Last week, Game 3 of the American Hockey League playoff series between the Calgary Wranglers and Coachella Valley Firebirds went to triple overtime before the Wranglers lost 3-2 midway through the third OT period. While we don’t have particularly great records from the old Central Hockey League or International Hockey League, the 51:22 of overtime played back on May 16 is definitely the most overtime played by a Flames team (or affiliate) in NHL or AHL history, and probably is the longest game played in organizational history.

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