In sort of a "like father, like son" situation, the Philadelphia Phantoms defeated the Albany River Rats in a five-overtime American Hockey League playoff marathon last night. Ryan Potulny scored at 2:58 of the fifth overtime to win it. At 142 minutes, 58 seconds, it's the longest game in AHL history. The Phantoms outshot the River Rats 101-67 -- and 63-35 in the five overtime periods -- and now lead the East Division semifinal series 3-2.
It was May 5, 2000 when the Phantoms' parent club, the Philadelphia Flyers, took 152:01 to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in an Eastern Conference semifinal game on a fifth-overtime goal by Keith Primeau. That stands as the longest game in modern NHL history -- only two games played in the 1930s lasted longer.
Games like this would disappear if the NHL followed the lead of the Olympics and other international competitions and used a shootout to decide playoff games (if a single OT period failed to produce a winner). The day that happens is the day I stop watching. -- Joe Guckin