NHL playoffs: Panthers outlast Hurricanes in historic 4OT after having game-winner called back

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final was easily the longest game in franchise history for both the Panthers and Hurricanes.

Matthew Tkachuk was the hero as the Panthers opened up the third round of the NHL playoffs in historic fashion. (Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers played one of the longest games in NHL history in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final, battling to a fourth overtime. Ultimately, Matthew Tkachuk broke through for the Panthers to win by a score of 3-2 just seconds before the contest was set to enter a fifth extra period.

The Panthers are now 7-1 on the road in these playoffs after building a 1-0 series lead against the Hurricanes.

Tkachuk scored the quadruple overtime goal, but Sergei Bobrovsky shined the brightest, making 63 saves. Really, both Bobrovsky and Frederik Andersen were brilliant, even deep into the night when skaters were somehow finding a way to create Grade-A chances.

For two teams who push the pace like few others, it will be fascinating to see how this historic game affects the rest of the series.

Comically, exhausted players and fans can consider that Game 1 could have ended less than three minutes into overtime. Whether the goalie interference review was correct or not, Ryan Lomberg’s would-be goal did not count, and so this contest went deep into the night. Between that review and great goaltending from Bobrovsky and Andersen, Game 1 left onlookers with plenty of memories and serious lost sleep.

Game 1 ended up being the longest game in franchise history for both the Panthers (once it passed 104:31) and Hurricanes (114:47) and finished as the sixth-longest game the NHL has ever seen.

Here's everything you need to know from the historic contest.

Would-be Lomberg OT goal nullified by goalie interference review

Less than three minutes into the first overtime period, it looked like Lomberg scored the game-winner, but the goal was negated after a video review determined Colin White interfered with Andersen’s ability to make a save.

Soon after, the Panthers received a rare overtime power-play opportunity, yet they failed to even register a shot on goal with that chance. Later on, the Hurricanes failed on their own OT power play, slipping to 2-for-5 on the night while Florida went 0-for-3. Seth Jarvis created the best PP look for either unit, but hit the crossbar/post.

Bobrovsky, Andersen ready for chances in second, third and fourth overtimes

Pitting two high-pace teams together for so long, it’s not shocking that chances became tougher and tougher to come by. For the most part, the overtimes featured bids for offense that didn’t quite connect. Bobrovsky broke up chances as much as anyone with alert poke checks and clutch saves.

As factors like the Hurricanes’ forecheck started to fade, there were long stretches where little but huffing and puffing happened. That said, there were some solid chances, including Bobrovsky making a glove save on Brent Burns. Andersen also stood tall whenever called upon.

As the game dragged into the wee hours of the morning, even Carolina’s arena crew played into the fatigue of Game 1 entering a fourth overtime.

Hurricanes get enough power-play chances to take early lead

Both the Panthers and Hurricanes thrive off of forechecking opponents into making mistakes, with the two teams sometimes seemingly most comfortable playing in quick bursts. Maybe those tendencies — a pair of franchises used to having the puck on their sticks for limited times rather than long spans of possession — explained why the early goings featured “highlights” such as a spirited backcheck.

Through the first period, the teams differed in one key way: going to the penalty box. The Panthers were whistled for three infractions in the opening 20 minutes, including two in quick succession that gave Carolina 1:22 of 5-on-3 time. For a while, it seemed like the Hurricanes might squander that opportunity. Instead, Sebastian Aho showed incredible patience while waiting out a Panthers penalty killer, eventually finding Jarvis for an emphatic first goal of the night.

During his second playoff run, Jarvis set a new career-high with nine points and added to what was already a career-best at five goals. Depending on how deep Carolina can go, Jarvis might flirt with former Hurricane and current Panthers forward Eric Staal’s franchise record of nine playoff goals for a player younger than 22 years old.

Duclair - Barkov - Verhaeghe turn Game 1 on its head in second period

To put things mildly, Paul Maurice was incensed by the cross-checking call that bumped the Hurricanes’ power-play opportunity to a 5-on-3.

For those getting visions of Maurice counting out the number of penalties again like he did against Toronto, the second period likely made that urge subside. The Panthers received the next two power-play opportunities, yet they couldn’t get much done against the Hurricanes’ vaunted “power kill.”

As smothering as the Hurricanes’ aggression can be, even lock-down defenses can occasionally be beaten. Anthony Duclair deftly entered Carolina’s zone, lured in Hurricanes skaters (including all-world defensive defenseman Jaccob Slavin) and sent an outstanding pass to Aleksander Barkov in a prime scoring position. Barkov thawed out a small personal cold streak with a precise shot past Andersen. Just like that, it was tied 1-1.

Perhaps you can charge the Hurricanes with chasing things around even more on the 2-1 goal. Barkov and Duclair created havoc again, and while Duclair couldn’t finish when he got some room, Carter Verhaeghe made an alert play to beat Andersen 2:15 after Barkov’s tally.

In the second period, the Panthers overcame special teams stumbles (two failed PP chances) to gain a lead with a pair of even-strength goals. Early in the third, the Hurricanes leaned on the man advantage for offense once more, as Martin Necas set a pretty tic-tac-toe goal in motion by setting up Jarvis, who sent the puck to Stefan Noesen. Bobrovsky went sprawling but couldn’t stop the 2-2 goal.

You can’t accuse the Hurricanes of just relying on the PP, however. While the Panthers generated a 9-5 advantage in high-danger chances in the first 40 minutes of Game 1, the Hurricanes stormed back in the third. Carolina produced the third period’s first four high-danger chances and kept the Panthers from registering a shot on goal for about 17 minutes. The third-period shots on goal total ended up 14-2 in favor of Carolina, giving the Hurricanes a 31-20 advantage in regulation.

Bobrovsky helped the Panthers hold on to force extra time with efforts like this pair of consecutive saves against Necas.