Carolina Hurricanes

Game 3, 2002 Stanley Cup finals vs. Detroit

Luke DeCock

Game 3, 2002 Stanley Cup finals vs. Detroit, 6/8/02. In the first Stanley Cup finals game played at what was then called the RBC Center, it took three overtimes in front of a frenzied crowd to decide a winner. The Red Wings’ Igor Larionov scored, but the game -- and the series -- could easily have gone the other way.
Game 3, 2002 Stanley Cup finals vs. Detroit, 6/8/02. In the first Stanley Cup finals game played at what was then called the RBC Center, it took three overtimes in front of a frenzied crowd to decide a winner. The Red Wings’ Igor Larionov scored, but the game -- and the series -- could easily have gone the other way.

Raleigh -- One more overtime, one more rebound after giving up a late goal -- it was all too much to ask of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Canes were 74 seconds away from winning the first Stanley Cup finals game at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on Saturday.



Instead, they lost with 5:13 left in the third overtime on an Igor Larionov goal that gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win.



The 54:47 of overtime was the third-longest game in Stanley Cup finals history. Edmonton and Boston played for 55:13 in 1990 and Dallas and Buffalo played for 54:51 in 1999.



Detroit now has a 2-1 lead in the finals with Game 4 at the ESA on Monday.



After Jeff O'Neill scored with 12:26 to play in regulation to give the Canes a 2-1 lead, Brett Hull deflected in a Nicklas Lidstrom shot to tie the score with 1:14 to play in regulation.



The Canes twice gave up tying goals in the final minute against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference finals but came back to win both.



The tone was set early in the game when Sean Hill delivered a punishing hit on Detroit forward Tomas Holmstrom as he carried the puck over the Carolina blue line.



As Holmstrom gathered himself on the ice, Hill stood over him, staring him down.



The message was clear. In what is now acknowledged as the loudest building in the NHL, the Canes were going to assert themselves.



They almost did so too much, taking a pair of undisciplined boarding penalties in the first 11 minutes.



But when they settled down, everyone at the ESA settled in for a great game.



"It's the first finals for the organization and first home game," Hull said. "They came off a big win in Game 1 and there's a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy. I think it's great."



True to the heavily adjudicated tone of the series, it took only 1:45 for the first penalty to be called, and before the game was four minutes old the Red Wings were on a five-on-three (Carolina scored on one in Game 1).



The second and third periods were officiated more in the usual manner of the finals, with only one power play handed out.



The Canes killed off 3:47 of an early Detroit power play that included a five-on-three, and killed off another later in the first period and got the game's first goal moments after the Red Wings nearly scored short-handed.



A crowd of 18,982 packed the ESA.

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