Perfect timing for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ signature Stanley Cup playoff moment

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One hundred and thirty two feet.

That’s how far the puck traveled once it left Rasmus Andersson’s stick, evaded the eyes of Mike Smith and hit the back of the net to audible gasps.

“I didn’t know what happened,” Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I didn’t see it. I had to check with my coaching staff to see if it was a legal goal.”

There might as well have been a vacuum attached to that game-tying goal, because it sucked the life out of Rogers Place.

For an Oilers franchise that spent close to two decades wandering in the wilderness, it felt like Edmonton’s version of a Bill Buckner moment, where a routine catch became the impossible. 

“I don’t think there’s a time in my career where I lost the puck, where I have no idea where it went,” Smith said. “It’s not a very good feeling, personally.”

There was a pit in 18,347 other stomachs, Rogers Place tuned into the theater of the bizarre. The Oilers were nine minutes away from putting a skate to the throat of their archrival, yet they weren’t able to salt away a three-goal lead and suddenly found themselves all-square on one of the wackiest goals you’ll ever see. 

One Oiler diehard actually had tears rolling down his face in the seats.

“I think, over time, there has been some scars,” Woodcroft said, of his team, but could have been speaking of the fanbase, too.

No one has more of those scars than Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the longest-serving Oiler.

Via Daily Faceoff