Stars need 4 OTs to top San Jose
DALLAS (AP) — The Dallas Stars have finally made it back to the Western Conference finals. It took the eighth longest game in NHL history to do it.
Brenden Morrow scored a power play goal 9:03 into the fourth overtime as the Stars eliminated the pesky San Jose Sharks 2-1 in a game that ended early Monday morning — the longest game in the NHL playoffs this season, and the longest in San Jose history.
The Stars are going to the conference finals for the first time since 2000, when they returned to the Stanley Cup finals the year after winning the franchise’s only championship. They will face Detroit, which wrapped up its second-round sweep of Colorado on Thursday night.
After winning the first three games in the series, the Stars finally knocked out the Sharks on the third try and avoided having to go to San Jose for a deciding game. The win came after having two apparent goals disallowed following video reviews in Game 5, and Evgeni Nabokov’s sensational glove save early in the first overtime of Game 6 — well before midnight.
It was well after midnight before Morrow deflected in a pass by Stephane Robidas on a power play, ending the third-longest game in Stars history. They lost the other two.
Nabokov’s incredible glove save 1:31 into the first overtime kept the game going and prevented a series winner by Brad Richards.
Nabokov made a stab of Richards’ one-timer, grabbing the puck with his glove sweeping just inside the post and the puck above the goal line. Referee Tim Peel was behind the net and quickly waved off the goal even though the red light lit up. The play was reviewed by off-ice officials, who determined the puck didn’t completely cross the goal line.
But Nabokov seemed confident, shaking his head as if to say "No goal" when he stood up after the whistle. And it wasn’t a goal, one of his 17 saves in the first extra period.
Mike Ribeiro had three chances to score in the final 75 seconds of the first overtime.
PENGUINS 3, RANGERS 2
PITTSBURGH — Marian Hossa scored his second goal of the game 7:10 into overtime and Pittsburgh rallied after giving up a two-goal lead to beat New York and advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in seven years.
Sidney Crosby began a rush from the Penguins’ end with a pass to Pascal Dupuis, who attempted to give it back to Crosby.
The puck trickled away but ended up on Hossa’s stick, and he beat Henrik Lundqvist from the slot for his fifth of the playoffs. The Penguins won the series 4-1.
The Penguins will meet the cross-state Philadelphia Flyers, the conference’s worst team last season, in the first all-Pennsylvania conference final. The teams haven’t met in the postseason since the Flyers’ six-game victory in a 2000 second-round series.
Jaromir Jagr, the leading scorer in the playoffs with 15 points, didn’t get a goal in perhaps his last game for New York, though he told NBC that he wants to play for another four seasons and would like to stay with the Rangers.