Boston's Top Five Heartbreaking Losses in Extra Time
Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls stayed alive in their NBA Eastern Quarter-Final series in a thrilling triple-OT classic against the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
Chicago squeaked out a 128-127 victory, overcoming Celtics guard Ray Allen's 51-point effort.
The Bulls-Celts series heads to a Game Seven on Saturday.
Boston is expected to win, with oddsmakers listing the Celtics as a 6.5-point favorite.
Still, I thought it was a good opportunity to look back at some of the most painful playoff losses, overtime edition, in Boston sports in the last 25 years.
5. Brad May stuns the B's
In the 1993 playoffs, the Boston Bruins were expected to brush aside the Buffalo Sabres in the Adams Division Semi-Finals.
The Bruins had finished the regular season with 109 points, second-best in the entire league and 23 more than the Sabres.
Boston had also KO'ed Buffalo from the playoffs the previous spring, and the Sabres hadn't won a postseason series in 10 years.
The Sabres, however, shockingly jumped out to a 3-0 series lead, with OT wins in the first and third contests.
In Game Four, Boston led 5-2 but the Sabres rallied to tie the game in the third period before Brad May ended the series early in the OT session.
An absolutely heartbreaking loss for the Bruins, with two of these best players beaten on the May winning goal.
The play started with Sabres superstar Pat LaFontaine getting tripped up and yet dishing the puck to May, who skated in and danced around future Hall of Fame defenseman Ray Bourque and came in all alone on All-Star goaltender Andy Moog.
May then put the puck in past a fallen Moog, completing the sweep for Buffalo.
4. Axelsson's goal gets called back
In the first round of the 1998 NHL playoffs, the Bruins were poised to take a 2-1 series lead against the Washington Capitals.
Boston had won Game Two in double overtime, and the star-crossed Caps continued their playoff OT struggles, having lost their seventh straight extra-time game in the postseason.
When P.J. Axelsson scored in overtime to seemingly end Game Three, the FleetCenter erupted, as the Bruins had handed the Capitals yet another gut-wrenching loss...
But wait a minute.
The play was immediately reviewed...to see if there was a Bruins skate in the crease.
As it turned out, Bruins forward Tim Taylor's skate was indeed slightly in the crease, but it in no way interfered with Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig.
However, the rules indicated that such a goal would be disallowed, and the referee called the goal back, causing an incensed Pat Burns to be livid behind the Bruins bench.
As it turned out, ex-Bruin Joe Juneau scored in the second OT, changing the complexion of the series.
It was all downhill for the B's from that point on. Another ex-Bruin, Adam Oates, scored two goals in the fourth game to give Washington a 3-1 series lead.
The Bruins won Game Five to stave off elimination, but alas, lost the sixth contest in overtime.
The Bruins went 0-3 at home, including two OT defeats.
But the series definitely turned on Axelsson's disallowed goal.
3. Aaron (Bleepin') Boone ends Red Sox season
In Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS, the Boston Red Sox blew a 5-2 lead with five outs to go, setting the stage for yet another New York Yankee postseason miracle.
With the Red Sox poised to make the World Series, the Yankees rallied against Boston ace Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning.
In the 11th, Aaron Boone took Tim Wakefield's first pitch into the left-field seats, putting the Yankees back into the World Series.
For the Red Sox, the "Curse of the Bambino" had struck yet again.
Boone will forever be known as "Aaron Bleepin' Boone" in New England.
2. Bruins lose in triple-overtime in Stanley Cup opener
The 1990 Bruins were poised to win Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Bruins, who had led the NHL with 101 points during the regular season, rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period thanks to Ray Bourque's two goals.
In overtime, the Bruins' Glen Wesley had a glorious chance to end the game. With Oilers goaltender Bill Ranford entangled with two players and down and out of the play, the puck was sitting in the slot.
Wesley jumped in and had the top half of the net to shoot at. But his shot went over the crossbar and the game continued.
Had the puck gone in, the game would have been over and the B's would have gotten a leg up in the series.
Instead, the game dragged on, before the Oilers' Petr Klima scored the game-winner late in the third overtime.
Boston went on to lose the series in five.
1. Red Sox blow 5-3 lead with two outs and none on in Game Six
The Red Sox, on the verge of winning the 1986 World Series, led by two runs and two outs in the tenth inning at Shea Stadium.
Boston was up 3-2 in the Series and needed just one more out, and closer Calvin Schiraldi was poised to deliver the Red Sox's first title since 1918.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Gary Carter singled. Kevin Mitchell singled. Ray Knight singled on an 0-2 pitch.
The score was now 5-4 Red Sox, with Mookie Wilson coming up.
Schiraldi was gone, replaced by Bob Stanley.
The count on Wilson went to 2-2, with the Red Sox again one strike away from winning. Stanley's seventh pitch of the at-bat, however, got past catcher Rich Gedman, as Mitchell came around to score the tying run.
With the crowd at Shea in a frenzy, Wilson then hit a grounder to first base. The ball inexplicably went through Bill Buckner's legs, allowing Knight to score the winning run from second base.
The Red Sox went on to lose Game Seven too.