Game 6 so long that hitting almost ceased
Posted: Sunday June 20, 1999 03:47 AM
By Denise N. Maloof, CNN/SI
BUFFALO, N.Y. (CNN/SI) -- How long a game was it?
The easiest answer is time -- almost two in one.
The Stars and Sabres played a regulation 60 minutes Saturday night, then tacked on an additional 54:51 in overtime. Thatís almost three additional periods. And less than two minutes short of the longest game in Stanley Cup finals history - a 3-2 Edmonton win over Boston in 1990 that ran 55:13 in OT.
Saturdayís Game 6 was so long, in fact, that the hitting ceased about halfway through the first overtime period. Except for necessary backchecking and forechecking, and one-on-one rush battles, a lot of air and space existed between Sabres and Stars, and the officials all but swallowed their whistles.
"We had nothing left. They had nothing left. Thank God itís over," said Conn Smythe winner Joe Nieuwendyk.
"I didnít think the game was going to end, to be honest," said Stars captain Derian Hatcher. "Itís unbelievable. Itís hard to describe."
And Saturdayís clinching marathon was so long, and so exhausting, that the emotionally sapped -- and perhaps champagne-laced -- Stars revealed some serious injury problems at the end.
Mike Modano admitted "a clean break" in his left wrist. Brett Hull revealed not one but two groin tears and a shredded medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
"Tough shape," was how Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock described Hullís knee.
"He played on leg and no groins the last three shifts," Hitchcock added. "He limped around the ice. The goal he scored, if you watch the shift, he limped into the corner. He limped to the front of the net."
But the rumor that Buffaloís Michael Peca was played hurt was unfounded, according to Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff.
"Michael has got some bumps and bruises, but he is not hurting," Ruff said. "Heís not hurting any more, or any worse - you know, as a group, there are some guys probably taking needles on both sides to block pain and whatever else."
On Saturday, the Starsí elixir was a Stanley Cup win.
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.