Pittsburgh Penguins Time Capsules: The Shot Heard Around Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Penguins, Ron Tugnutt. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT
Pittsburgh Penguins, Ron Tugnutt. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/ALLSPORT /

On May 4, 2000, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philidelphia Flyers waged war through a five-overtime classic, that left both teams depleted and the Flyers with a 2-1 victory. Here are a few things you may have forgotten about the game.

When Keith Primeau scored the game-winning-goal at 2:15 a.m, on Ron Tugnutt of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the goal ended the third-longest game in NHL history.

The Penguins won the first two games of the series but dropped the next four games, making it one of the worst collapses in team history. Based on the fact it was against their cross-state rivals.

Here’s a look back at a few things you may have forgotten about the overtime classic.

Time Well Spent?

The game in real-time lasted 6 hours and 56 minutes, which established a league record.

Just for perspective, you would be able to watch horses run in nearly 200 Kentucky Derby’s, and if you are a fast runner you could run in the New York, Boston, and Olympic marathons, with time left over for some sprints.

Duel of the Fates

The 23-year-old Brian Boucher faced a baptism by fire. The 57 saves Boucher made in the game is the modern record for most saves in a game by a rookie goaltender, and ranks him second on the all-time list, with only Reggie Lemelin‘s 61 saves in 1981 ranking higher. It is also worth noting that Lemelin was three years older (26) than Boucher when he set the record.

At the other end of the ice, Ron Tugnutt made 70 saves on 72 shots and was almost a decade older (32-years-old) than Boucher at the time of the game.

Tugnutt also owed the Penguins defensemen huge kudos, after they blocked an additional 42 shots from making it to the net.

At the end of the game, the teams combined for 130 shots, which were just two shots shy of the NHL record set by the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders in 1987.

Wrecking Crew

Mark Recchi and Darius Kasparaitis were at each other all night long. Recchi with seven recorded hits on the night knocked Kasparaitis to the ice on four occasions during the overtime periods.

Kasparaitis led the game with nine hits and got away with a blatant hold on Recchi in the second overtime.

Recchi was looking for a rebound in front of the Penguins net, where he was cross-checked in the back and then pulled to the ice by his head by Kasparaitis.

Needless to say but the referees started tightening things up in the third overtime period.

I guess if you believe in karma it was only fitting the Primeau cut through Kasparaitis on route to scoring the winning goal.

Sick of it

Jaromir Jagr was suffering an illness and failed to take the pre-game skate and at some points during the game was too fatigued to stand on his skates.

That didn’t stop him from leading the Penguins in ice-time with 59 minutes played. With five goals in the first three games of the series, the Flyers effectively shut Jagr down in game 4, which was the first time in 9 playoff games he was held off the scoresheet.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying as Jagr managed 9 shots, which equaled Flyers defenseman Dan McGillis‘s shot output and one less than Alex Kovalev who threw10 shots at Boucher.

Jagr weighed 230 pounds before the game and weighed 223 at the conclusion. It’s safe to say Jagr invested some serious sweat equity.

Random Notes

  • Despite playing in a three-overtime-game in 1999 with the Edmonton Oilers, Pat Falloon played the least amount of time from wither team. Fallon took 26 shifts for 13 minutes and 56 seconds of ice time.
  • Penguins defenseman Michal Rozsival set an NHL record for most time played by a rookie in a playoff game with 45 minutes and 25 seconds of ice time. Rozsival drew into the line-up for an injured Jiri Sliger and only played two games during the 2000 playoffs.
  • Jan Hrdina led the Penguins in faceoff wins going 27-16 (59%) in the circle.
  • The Penguins skated with 13 European players on their roster in game 4 and the Flyers had just one, Valeri Zelepukin.
  • The game marked the 10th consecutive time the road team won an overtime game that lasted longer than one extra period.
  • With losses in games 3 and 4 of the series, it marked the first time since early Nov. 1999 that the Penguins lost consecutive games on home ice (Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning).

What are some of your favorite memories from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Flyers series?

Do you think the Pittsburgh Penguins could have won the series if they won game 4?

Drop them in the comment box below!