Ron Tugnutt, Brian Boucher remember craziness of Flyers-Penguins Marathon on Ice


Ron Tugnutt played 11 postseason games for the Penguins in the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

He lost more pounds in one of those appearances than the actual number of games he played throughout that postseason.

During the 1999-00 regular season, the netminder played only seven games for the Penguins, compiling 374:19 total minutes on the ice and 182 saves.

On one night (and morning) during the postseason, May 4, 2000, at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Tugnutt played 152:01 minutes and converted 72 saves. He was the losing goaltender in the Flyers' unforgettable 2-1 five-overtime win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In that odyssey of a hockey game, Tugnutt said he shed 12 pounds. Twelve pounds.

"I remember needing help going up the stairs by my legs, just I had nothing left," he said on the Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice podcast. "I was drained."

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Brian Boucher, the opposing goalie, was also superb in earning the victory for the Flyers, making 57 saves through 151:48 minutes.

I honestly don’t know if I could’ve played another period," Boucher said.

"When I came out for the start of the fifth [overtime], I think this was when I was getting near the end. My legs were seizing up, my calves were seizing up, my fingers were cramping, my wrists and my forearms. I remember I was scraping the crease and my hips were like starting to cramp up so I stopped scraping the crease. I was like, 'I'm not going to do that.'

"Then I would try and go stretch one part of my hip, and when I did that, something else cramped up. So I was like you know what, 'I’m not even going to stretch either, because I don’t want to end up seizing right here before the period starts.' So I kind of just winged it.

It's probably safe to assume Boucher lost double-digit pounds, as well.

"I'm not really sure how much weight I lost during that game," Boucher said in May on the Flyers Talk podcast, "but I could remember when I got done taking my gear off, I took my skate and I could pour water out of my skate, which was pretty disgusting. But that's how much sweat that I had. I mean, sometimes in a practice I could lose seven pounds."

As both goalies were in the midst of the ultimate weight-loss workout, Tugnutt's mother needed a mental break. To her surprise, she made it back with plenty of time to spare.

"My mom couldn't watch the game anymore at around 11:30 p.m. She goes, 'That's it, I can't take this stress,'" Tugnutt said. "So she turned it off and she woke up at 1:30 a.m. She goes, 'I've got to go find out the score.' She turned it on and the game was still going. They ran out of beer in the Pittsburgh arena, people were sleeping in the stands — it was crazy."

Crazy for everyone — especially those goalies.

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