The Edmonton Oilers watched a three-goal lead disappear in the final 3:16 of the third period against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round before losing 4-3 in double overtime. It was the second time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs a team won a game after overcoming being down three goals in the final 4:00 of the third period.
The Oilers were involved in the other one as well, 20 years earlier, but they were on the winning end.
On April 20, 1997, the Dallas Stars appeared to be coasting to victory against the Oilers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Edmonton Coliseum (later Rexall Place). With time winding down in the third period, the Stars led 3-0; Mike Modano and Benoit Hogue had scored in the first period and Joe Nieuwendyk gave Dallas a three-goal lead midway through the second.
[RELATED: Complete Oilers vs. Ducks series coverage]
It looked as if the Oilers were on the way to a loss in their first home playoff game since 1992 after missing the postseason the previous four years.
But the fans got a spark of hope when Doug Weight's backhand went past Dallas goaltender (and former Oilers player) Andy Moog with 4:00 remaining to make it 3-1. Edmonton got a power play 25 seconds later, and Andrei Kovalenko snapped a shot through Moog's pads with 2:16 remaining to make it 3-2. Rookie Mike Grier tied the game 12 seconds later, tipping a shot by defenseman Dan McGillis past Moog to make it 3-3.
The three goals in 1:56 and two goals in 12 seconds set Oilers records.
Kelly Buchberger won it at 9:15 of overtime when he took a drop pass from Mats Lindgren across the Dallas blue line and took a shot that deflected off Dallas defenseman Darryl Sydor and went past Moog. The stunning victory gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.
The Stars evened the series two nights later, but the historic win became part of an upset victory when the Oilers defeated the Stars 4-3 in overtime to win Game 7.