Ranking Sharks' five worst playoff overtime moments in franchise history

Brian Witt
NBC Sports BayArea

Editor's note: Sports Uncovered, the newest podcast from NBC Sports, will shine a fresh light on some of the most remarkable moments in sports. The fourth episode tells the story of the "Marathon on Ice" between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sharks have qualified for the playoffs in 15 of the last 17 seasons, and their 30 Stanley Cup Playoff rounds are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most in the NHL. For a franchise that only has been around for 28 years, San Jose has tasted the postseason with impressive frequency.

When a team is involved in playoff hockey that often, it's bound to experience its fair share of playoff overtime -- arguably the most exciting spectacle in all of professional sports. The Sharks inevitably have, and those instances have produced some of the most memorable moments in franchise history.

We've covered San Jose's top five playoff overtime moments. Of course, for every OT winner, there is a corresponding loser, as the Sharks have learned more often than they would like.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Of those crushing moments, some sting worse than others. Here are San Jose's five most excruciating playoff OT endings, in case you need a reminder.

5. Boyle's own-goal

The only two reasons this doesn't rank higher on the list are: it was a first-round series, and the Sharks ultimately overcame the gaffe to advance to the second round. That said, it was really, really bad.

Half of the games in the Sharks' six-game, first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche in 2011 went to overtime. San Jose took Games 2 and 4 in the extra period, bookending a finish that will remain on blooper reels for many years to come. 

In Game 3, only a single goal was scored, and it didn't come in regulation. Less than a minute into OT, however, Dan Boyle attempted to pass the puck back to Douglas Murray behind the Sharks' net. Instead, he ultimately shot the puck on net, and it got past an unsuspecting Evgeni Nabokov, giving Colorado a 2-1 series lead.

4. Garpenlov hits the post

The 1993-94 season brought a series of firsts for the Sharks franchise: their first postseason berth, their first playoff series victory, and -- oh yeah -- their first heartbreaking elimination.

After upsetting the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the first round, San Jose had the second-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs on the ropes in the second round. The Sharks took Games 1, 3 and 5, and had a chance to close the series out in Game 6 in Toronto.

Tied 2-2 going into their first-ever playoff overtime experience, the Sharks nearly pulled off a second-straight series upset. Just over a minute into OT, Johan Garpenlov received a pass in the slot of the offensive zone and unleashed a howitzer that beat Toronto goalie Felix Potvin but rang off the left post. About eight minutes later, Mike Gartner scored for the Maple Leafs, dealing San Jose its first playoff elimination in franchise history.

3. Where's the puck?

Losing in overtime in an elimination game sucks. Losing in overtime in an elimination game in the manner the Sharks did against the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 Western Conference finals sucks even more.

There were 12 players on the ice when the decisive goal was scored in the second overtime of Game 5. Only one of them seemed to know where the puck actually was, and he provided the winning tally.

All of the Sharks on the ice thought the puck had gone into the netting above and behind San Jose's net. The same goes for all of Vancouver's forwards, as well as the TV cameras. Kevin Bieksa, however, was the only one to notice the puck took an odd bounce off a stanchion, and it popped right out to him at the top of San Jose's zone. Bieksa partially fanned on his shot, but he got enough of the puck to get it on net and beat an unaware Antti Niemi.

The series was over before the Sharks knew what had happened.

2. The Earthquake game

The Sharks earned their first-ever Pacific Division title during the 2001-02 season, and they made easy work of the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round of the playoffs. They then took Game 1 of their second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche, and never trailed in the series until ... well, until it was over.

San Jose had a chance to close things out on home ice in Game 6. With approximately nine minutes left in the third period and the score tied 1-1, a 5.2-magnitude earthquake centered about 30 miles south of the Sharks' arena shook the upper reaches of Compaq Center. Play was not stopped, and neither side scored through the remainder of regulation. Then, just under three minutes into OT, Peter Forsberg scored for the Avalanche, sending the series back to Colorado for a winner-take-all Game 7.

Forsberg was the last player to score in the series, as his goal in the second period of Game 7 provided all of the scoring in the decisive game. Though the Avalanche would go on to lose to the Red Wings in the Western Conference Final, they pushed Detroit to the brink in another competitive seven-game series. If the Sharks win Game 6, who knows what happens.

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1. Marathon in Dallas

The 2007-08 Sharks finished the regular season with the most points in franchise history at the time. They had to grind through a tough, seven-game first-round series against the Calgary Flames, but upon reaching the second round, it turned out the true grind was still to come.

The Dallas Stars took the first three games of the series, two of which went to overtime. But San Jose bounced back, winning Game 4 in Dallas before prevailing in OT at home in Game 5. Then, in Game 6, the two teams would play more overtime minutes than they previously had in the entire series combined.

Tied 1-1 at the end of regulation, the first overtime came and went without any scoring. The same went for the second and third extra periods. By the time the fourth OT began, the Sharks and Stars had already played the equivalent of two games that night. If San Jose were able to pull off a second-straight overtime win, the Sharks would have had all the momentum heading into Game 7.

But it was not to be. Just over nine minutes into the fourth OT, Brenden Morrow scored for Dallas, bringing an end to both the series and the longest game in San Jose franchise history. To lose after all that made it as painful an OT loss as the Sharks have ever had.

Ranking Sharks' five worst playoff overtime moments in franchise history originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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