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How the Florida Panthers won 6th longest game in NHL history

Matthew Tkachuk ended Game 1 with 12.7 seconds left in the fourth overtime.

MIAMI — Game 1 of the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals provided a two-for-one experience - and then some.

Matthew Tkachuk scored the game winner with 12.7 seconds remaining in the fourth overtime period to end the sixth-longest game in NHL history.

The game started at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday and ended at 1:54 a.m. ET on Friday. It was the longest game in team history for both the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes. Tkachuk ended it and immediately signaled to his teammates to get off the ice and get some rest.

The Panthers are now 5-0 in overtime games during the playoffs this year after winning two against both the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. They're also 7-1 on the road, losing only Game 1 in Boston back in the first round before reeling off seven in a row.

So how did they do it? As Armando Velez of Locked on Panthers explains, Florida kept the Hurricanes off the board with zero even strength goals in the game thank to some tenacious team defense and another spectacular performance from Sergei Bobrovsky.

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Bobrovsky set a Panthers record with 63 saves, including 34 in overtime. It was his second consecutive game with at least 50 saves after made made 50 in a series-clinching Game 5 against Toronto on Friday.

This one literally could have gone either way, with plenty of chances to end it prior to Tkachuk's winner.

"You've got to tip your cap to both teams how they played," Tkachuk said, per NHL.com. "Fourth overtime, guys are diving, blocking shots, diving to get pucks out. I don't know how many blocked shots there were on both sides. But both teams are very dialed in and playing smart but hard and very for the team. Both teams are very team first and you can easily tell that. 

"We knew they were going to be tight, low-scoring games against these guys and that's something that we're confident and comfortable in, and it should be good the rest of the series."

Everybody rest up. Game 2 is set for 8pm EST on Saturday.

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