Friday night, the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues showed once again that 60 minutes isn't always enough to settle a playoff hockey game.
St. Louis' Jaden Schwartz tied the game 3-3 with 6.4 seconds left after David Perron's deflection hit him before going past Canucks goalie Jakob Markstrom.
The Canucks got the win, though, on an overtime breakaway goal by Bo Horvat at 5:55 that put the defending Stanley Cup champions in a 2-0 hole in the first round.
The game was the 12th, including three in the round robin, to go into overtime since the season resumed Aug. 1 in the Toronto and Edmonton hubs.
Yeah, @BoHorvat is playing on another level this series.
He gives the @Canucks a 2-0 series lead! #StanleyCuppic.twitter.com/LVF3TVWVH0
Overtime creates a little bit of an issue in the bubble setup because crews need to disinfect dressing rooms between games.
Game 1 of the Boston Bruins-Carolina Hurricanes first-round series in Toronto was pushed to the following morning because of a five-overtime classic between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
The Bruins and Hurricanes then went into two overtimes before Boston's Patrice Bergeron picked up the winning goal.
Barring six overtimes, nothing the Bruins and Canes did could have lived up to the Columbus-Tampa Bay game, which, at 6 hours, 13 minutes broadcast time and 150:27 of playing time, was the longest in the history of both franchises and the fourth-longest ever.
Just eight teams have been eliminated from the bubble, and two were ousted with an overtime loss on Aug. 7 when the Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators fell in Game 4.
And there was a third overtime game that day. A day after blowing a three-goal lead and losing to the Blue Jackets in overtime in Game 3, the Toronto Maple Leafs came back from a three-goal deficit with less than six minutes remaining. Toronto star Auston Matthews' overtime goal sent the series to Game 5.
But the comeback was all for naught, as the Blue Jackets won Game 5 on Sunday, advancing to their first-round matchup with the Lightning. That's a rematch of last year's first round when the Blue Jackets stunningly swept the Presidents' Trophy winner. It was that back story that made their five-overtime classic so great.
In a world where so much is uncertain, at least we have overtime playoff hockey.
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