10 Electrifying Playoff Overtime Goals
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Let me begin this by saying that these are in no particular order and that this list could probably be three or four times longer if I wanted it to be. While the NHL did an amazing job putting together their bubble system to finish their most recent season, it just didn't feel the same without the crowd noise and atmosphere that we are used to during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Playoff hockey is one of the wildest environments in all of professional sports, and if you have never seen a playoff game in person, you're really missing out. It is easy to simply point out that games in the playoffs are louder than the regular season, but what is even more impressive is the intangible energy and constant state of tension and excitement that fills the arena.
This intoxicating atmosphere reaches its peak in overtime. Overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is quite possibly the most nerve-wracking endeavor in all of professional sports. One goal could change the face of a series, legacy, or career in the blink of an eye. With all of us being robbed of having crowds of die hard hockey fans in attendance for this past post season, here are ten of the most electrifying playoff overtime goals in recent memory (in no particular order).
Alex Burrows vs. Chicago - 2011 First Round (Game 7)
Burrows was a man on a mission that year, and it is hard not to get chills while watching this one. When we think back on teams that just couldn't seem to get past that one rival in the postseason, it is easy to jump to the Washington Capitals and their massively frustrating struggles with the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, Vancouver and Chicago basically danced the same dance in the early 2010s. Vancouver had struggled so much against that dominant Blackhawks team, despite having great lineups of their own. And as we saw with the Caps and Penguins, is there a better way to exercise the demons of your playoff nemesis than in overtime? I think not. Jim Hughson is an absolute broadcasting legend and has the perfect call for this moment: "in Vancouver, it's a wonderful day for an exorcism".
Derek Plante vs. Ottawa - 1997 First Round (Game 7)
One of the greatest calls in hockey history. Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret has given us many of those, and this is one of his best. Maybe it's the call, maybe it's the ecstatic and frenzied Buffalo crowd, maybe it's because it was game 7, maybe it's all of those things as to why this one has always stood out to me.
Brendan Morrow vs. San Jose - 2008 Second Round (Game 6, 4OT)
Quadruple overtime is nuts to even try and comprehend. That's seven periods , or just over two full games of hockey. Oh yeah, and it's not your local beer league, it's the NHL during the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I remember watching this series when I was in middle school, and it was basically a coin flip. Four of the six games went to overtime, and San Jose actually rallied from down 0-3 to force a game 6. Just a great example of how anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Darren Helm vs. Chicago - 2009 Western Conference Final (Game 5)
Two original six teams battling it out to see who advances to the Stanley Cup Final, it doesn't get much better than that. Helm's OT winner advanced the defending champion Red Wings to their second consecutive finals appearance. While the Wings knocked off the Hawks in five games, three of those five were decided in overtime. This was also the series where Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall absolutely destroyed Martin Havlat with an open ice hit.
Patrick Kane vs. Los Angeles - 2013 Western Conference Final (Game 5)
Scoring an overtime winner must feel pretty good. But scoring an overtime winner after you had already scored twice during the game to send your team to the Stanley Cup Final? Yeah that's got to feel pretty damn incredible. The Hawks would go on to win their second Stanley Cup in four years after knocking out the defending champion Kings in five games.
Alec Martinez vs. New York Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final (Game 5)
This is what it's all about. The moment that every hockey player dreamed about as a kid when they were out on the pond or in their driveway. Martinez's goal gave the Kings their second Stanley Cup in three years, and was one of two huge goals he scored in the playoffs that year. In the previous round Martinez scored the overtime winner in game seven against the Chicago Blackhawks, to send LA to the final. However, this is by far the bigger of the two. The cup winning goal in overtime at home will remain one of the most iconic in NHL history.
Alexander Semin vs. New York Rangers - 2011 First Round (Game 1)
Okay this one may come with a dash of hometown bias, but hear me out. Like them or not, the teams that the Caps had in the early 2010s were some of the most entertaining to watch. They had one of the most potent offenses in the league and could strike in the blink of an eye. Semin's overtime winner in game one against the Rangers is a perfect example of that. Jason Arnott makes a great play along the wall to keep the puck in the zone and feeds Semin with a perfect pass. And then there's the shot, an absolute missile one-timer from between the circles. People often forget how skilled Alexander Semin was as a player, usually because he took a hook/slash/trip penalty every period, but he had one of the most lethal shots in the league at that time. Washington fans will always remember this series as what felt like the first one in ages that the Caps were able to finish in less than seven games, knocking off the Rangers in five.
Kevin Bieksa vs. San Jose - 2011 Western Conference Final (Game 5)
One of the wildest bounces in NHL history, elation for Vancouver and pain for San Jose. Kevin Bieksa takes advantage of a wild bounce off the stanchion and is able to fire the puck past Antti Niemi. If you watch the replay of this goal, you can see how all of the Sharks players and most of the Canucks players can't tell where the puck is, in fact a few of them stopped skating assuming that it had gone out of play. Bieksa's goal in double overtime sent Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994. In fact, it was seventeen years to the day since Vancouver last won the Western Conference, and both games were won in double overtime.
Adam Henrique vs. New York Rangers - 2012 Eastern Conference Final (Game 6)
Bitter rivals going at it to see who advances to the Stanley Cup Final, you have to love it. These two teams have a decent amount of playoff history between each other, and just like their fans, tend to not like each other very much. immortalized by Doc Emrick's call, Adam Henrique scored just over a minute into overtime to send the Devils to the Cup Final. The reaction of Doc, who called Devils games for years, combined with the mad scramble in front of the net, and the crowd is what makes this one of those special moments.
John Tavares vs. Florida Panthers - 2016 First Round (Game 6)
Now I know a decent amount of Islanders fans that aren't too fond of this guy, but you can't deny the significance of this moment for the team. Tavares' goal with 54 seconds remaining in the third period tied the game at one, and his second goal won the series for the Islanders in double overtime. This was the first time since 1993 that the Islanders had won a playoff series, ending a 23 year drought.
That wraps up my list of 10 of the most electrifying playoff overtime goals (in no particular order). Let us know what some of your favorite overtime playoff goals are in the comments below!