RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The oldest man in the NHL ended the third-longest game in Stanley Cup Finals history.
Igor Larionov scored his second goal of the game 14:47 into triple overtime as the Detroit Red Wings rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and a two games to one lead in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Several hours after becoming the oldest player to score a goal in Finals' history, the 41-year-old Larionov drifted around Bates Battaglia on the left side and through the slot before lifting a backhander over Arturs Irbe. Detroit defenseman Mathieu Dandenault had been tied up with Irbe but jumped to avoid the goaltender just before Larionov scored his first overtime goal in 143 career playoff games.
"I just decided to wait a little bit and see what the defenseman was going to do," Larionov said. "He committed to me. He just slid on the ice and I just walked around him and took my time and put the puck in the net."
Asked if he ever scored a bigger goal, Larionov, one of the greatest players in Soviet history, said, "I don't think so. Usually, I go back to the '81 Canada Cup at the Montreal Forum against Team Canada. First goal of the finals, I scored; scored some overtime goals but not many, not too many. This, I think, is the biggest goal of my career."
The Hurricanes had thrived in overtime in the playoffs, winning seven of eight games, including the opener of this series. Overtime, however, was the last thing Carolina wanted after Jeff O'Neill scored with 12:26 remaining in regulation to break a 1-1 tie.
But Hull deflected a shot past Irbe with 74 seconds left for his team-leading ninth playoff goal and first of this series.
Steve Yzerman won a faceoff from Rod Brind'Amour and worked the puck to Sergei Fedorov, who curled a pass to Game Two hero Nicklas Lidstrom just before taking a hit along the right boards. Lidstrom's wrister from below the left point was deflected by Hull, who was positioned along the inside edge of the left circle.
The puck was knocked down and past the glove of Irbe, who protested briefly that Hull's stick was above the crossbar when he tipped it.
"It was a harmless play," Carolina captain Ron Francis said. "Lidstrom shoots it on net and Hull gets his stick on it. That's why he's scored 600 in this league."
"He just put the stick or glove (on it). To me, it seemed like the glove, but you saw the replay and can make a judgment," Irbe added. "He deflected it the opposite direction of the way I was going."
While Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman had not pulled goalie Dominik Hasek for an extra attacker, he had four forwards and Lidstrom on the ice when Hull got the equalizer.
"It was a routine shot," said Bowman, who tied his mentor, Toe Blake, with his 34th career Stanley Cup Finals win. "And I guess a goal-scorer gets those kind of goals. It was a good shot by Nick because he didn't try to put it through anybody. He was just trying to get it at the net."
Detroit almost did not need overtime as Lidstrom ripped a rising slap shot from the top of the slot off the left goalpost with 51 seconds to go. Early in the third period, Red Wings defenseman Steve Duchesne put a blast from the left point off the right post.
O'Neill nearly was the hero when he slipped behind defenseman Fredrik Olausson, got a pass from Ron Francis and fluttered a shot from the left circle over Hasek's glove and into the top right corner of the net.
It was the franchise-record seventh playoff goal and sixth in 10 games for O'Neill and came moments after Yzerman whipped a shot just wide of a half-empty net. O'Neill broke the mark set by Kevin Dineen in 1986, the only other time the former Hartford Whalers won a playoff series.
But a frenzied and often deafening crowd left the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena disappointed. The team that has won Game Three in a tied series has gone on to capture the Stanley Cup 20 of the last 23 times.
Game Four is here on Monday.
"It's 2-1, that's what you have to remember," Carolina center Kevyn Adams said. "If we come out and play a hard Game Four, we can even this thing up."
Josef Vasicek scored Carolina's other goal, again seconds after heavily favored Detroit missed a glorious scoring opportunity.
Whipped up by the crowd, the Hurricanes took three penalties in the game's first 12 minutes, including two in the opening 3:32 and two in the offensive zone. But they survived all three power plays, the last of which was cut short when Lidstrom went off at 12:30 for tripping, his first penalty in 27 playoff games.
Carolina again failed to convert on the man advantage, but grabbed its first lead in regulation in the series just 19 seconds after the power play expired.
Seconds after Yzerman ripped a shot off the left goalpost while Detroit was still shorthanded, Vasicek got a loose puck in the left faceoff circle. He slid it between Duchesne's legs and wristed a shot over the right arm of Hasek, who had gone down early with his blocker.
It was the third playoff goal and first in nine games for Vasicek. All three of his goals have lifted the Hurricanes into a tie or given them the lead.
After the Red Wings had the game's first three power plays, Carolina got the next two but failed to get off a shot.
A turnover by the Hurricanes led to the tying goal. Sean Hill tripped in the left corner and Hull beat him to the loose puck. Hull slid a pass to the bottom of the left circle, where Larionov chipped a one-timer over Irbe's left shoulder.
It was the third playoff goal and first in 10 games for Larionov.
Hasek got the tip of his right pad on a wrist shot by Cole with 11:51 to go in the period and Carolina went on its third power play seconds later after defenseman Chris Chelios took down Martin Gelinas. The Hurricanes finally got a solid scoring chance with the extra man when Brind'Amour tested Hasek with a wrister through traffic from the top of the right circle.
But they fell to 1-for-17 on the power play in the series, and the score was tied heading to the third period for the third straight game.
The first overtime belonged to Detroit, which had three solid chances to end it. With 11 1/2 minutes to go, Pavel Datsyuk moved around Sami Kapanen, then put the puck between the legs of defenseman Marek Malik. But Irbe got his left pad on the rookie's point-blank backhander.
Four minutes later, Brendan Shanahan shanked a one-timer after Fedorov set him up with a perfect feed off a 2-on-1.
And with 4:23 left, Olausson rifled a shot from high in the right circle off the crossbar.
"I laughed every time we hit the post," Detroit defenseman Jiri Fischer said. "You begin to wonder if the breaks are going to go your way. Luckily, they did."
Each team had a power play in the second overtime. Cole was penalized at 8:35 after grabbing Chelios' stick and Olausson went to the box at 13:25 for taking down Francis behind the net.
But neither team could score a power-play goal, a feat that has not been accomplished in overtime in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1980.
Seconds after the Hurricanes' advantage expired, Irbe produced the save of the series when he denied Yzerman by diving across the crease and using his glove to smother the shot from low in the left circle.