It could have been the longest countdown in the history of sports.
Forget the traditional 10-9-8 and so on. When Austin Watson and Colton Sissons staked the Nashville Predators to an early two-goal lead Monday in Game 6 of the Western Conference final it seemed as if all that remained was for the clock to run down to 0:00.
The mood inside Bridgestone Arena was such that had anyone thought to figure it out, the sellout crowd might actually have started at 3,073 and worked down from there.
Of course, it was not that easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. The Anaheim Ducks pulled even in the third period and maintained an attack that was as relentless as it was desperate. The certainty and celebratory feel that existed when it was 2-0 left temporarily and was replaced by equal parts tension and trepidation.
So it was not until Sissons scored again (his third goal of the night) with six minutes (360 seconds) remaining to put the Predators back on top and Watson put the game out of reach with another of his own (Nashvilles second into an empty net made it 6-3) 4:26 later that the celebration began in earnest with just 94 seconds to ...