The NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs come with potential for multi-overtime games that run much longer than normal. And that can take a toll on announcers, especially on those calling a game solo. Doug Plagens does just that for Florida Panthers’ road radio broadcasts (analyst Bill Lindsay joins him for home games), and he had a very long night Thursday.
There, Plagens called almost seven full periods of hockey between the Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. That’s more than the length of two regular games, and it was the sixth-longest in NHL history, and the longest in both teams’ franchise history. Despite all that, Plagens somehow had the voice and the energy for a great call of Matthew Tkachuk’s game-winning goal at 19:47 of the fourth overtime:
Matthew Tkachuk's game-winning goal at 19:47 of the 4th overtime, ending the longest game in the history of the @flapanthers & Hurricanes, and giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Final.
Here's how it sounded on @560wqam & the Panthers Radio Network: pic.twitter.com/1kCqwatukx
— Doug Plagens (@DougPlagens) May 19, 2023
“[Aaron] Ekblad dumps it in down to our right. Here’s Brent Burns, keeps it to the outside. Sam Bennett keeps it in, out front, Tkachuk, a shot, HE SCORES! HE SCOOOOOOOOORES! MATTHEW TKACHUK! THE OVERTIME WINNER! THE PANTHERS TAKE GAME 1! 3-2 THE FINAL! MATTHEW TKACHUK ENDS THE MARATHON, AND THE PANTHERS GO HOME HAPPY TONIGHT HERE IN RALEIGH!”
“Matthew Tkachuk, the overtime winner! 3-2 the final. The longest game in the history of both franchises, in the top-10 longest games in National Hockey League history, and Matthew Tkachuk gets it done! The overtime winner! 3-2 the final! And the Panthers take Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final!”
That’s a great call, and a really remarkable one considering how much hockey it came after, and with Plagens calling the game solo. He managed to have much more energy here than some fans in the stands:
When the sixth-longest playoff game in NHL history goes way past your bedtime ? ? pic.twitter.com/CFZ1MqwIoL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 19, 2023
And Panthers’ digital content manager Jameson Olive got some video of Plagens finishing that call, and asked the question we’re all thinking of how he still had a voice:
How does @DougPlagens still have a voice? pic.twitter.com/qndO5urVoU
— Jameson Olive (@JamesonCoop) May 19, 2023
Game 2 of the Panthers-Hurricanes series will take place Saturday night in Raleigh. Hopefully Plagens won’t have to stretch his voice quite as long in that one.
[Doug Plagens on Twitter; photo from @JamesonCoop on Twitter]