WASHINGTON -- The triple overtime marathon between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals on Wednesday was historic. Even if Rangers coach John Tortorella was already trying to downplay it the following day.
"To me, it's no big deal," he said of the game that put the Rangers up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. "It's a win for us; I don't want to get carried away."
It was the fifth-longest playoff overtime in the past decade, and there's a common thread at the top of that list: the Dallas Stars.
Dallas played in the three longest playoff games of the past 10 years, including the longest -- a five-overtime loss to the Ducks in 2003.
Mike Modano played in all three. He had 55:29 of ice time against the Ducks, 45:10 of ice time in a 5-4 four-overtime loss to the Canucks in 2007, and 32:58 of ice time in the 2-1 four-overtime clincher over the Sharks in 2008.
He was out having dinner on Wednesday evening when the game between the Capitals and Rangers caught his attention. He watched as the game extended on and on, no doubt bringing back memories of his participation in such momentous battles.
"We finally said we'll get the bill after the second overtime and watch the third one at home. You had that feeling this can go on forever," Modano said during a Thursday night phone conversation. "Things get so magnified in those type of games. The blocked shots, the plays, the little things. You held your breath for every shot."
And Modano knows exactly what the players on the Rangers and Capitals are going through right now as they get ready for Saturday's Game 4 in Washington.
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