As most hockey fans know, NHL playoff games never end in draws. The games continue until one of the teams pulls ahead and wins. That change in rules means that games can go into multiple overtimes. The following list includes some of the longest games in NHL history.
During the 2000 playoffs, the Flyers and Penguins faced each other in a semifinal game that would make history. Entering the fifth overtime period, both teams were head-to-head with one score each. The players had been on the ice for an incredible 92 minutes when Keith Primeau made a shot that would bring this grueling match to a conclusion.
The Flyers won the May 4th game. The team then went on to defeat the Penguins on May 7 and May 9. Eventually, though, they had to face the New Jersey Devils, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The New Jersey Devils took the Stanley Cup again in 2003 after fierce battles against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The Ducks went down in history for more than coming in second place, though. They also played the fourth-longest game in NHL history on April 24 against the Dallas Stars.
During the Ducks’ first Western Conference semifinal game against the Stars, the teams went into five overtime periods. The game finally ended after nearly 80 minutes and 48 seconds when Petr Sykora shot the winning goal. The Ducks won that game with five points. They also won three of the next five games against the Stars.
Exactly six years before the Stars and Mighty Ducks went into five overtime periods, the Penguins and Washington Capitals played the fifth-longest game in NHL history. The teams had faced each other three times already during the playoffs. The Capitals had won two games. The Penguins had only won one game.
That changed during the fourth overtime period, 79 minutes and 15 seconds into the match when Petr Nedved scored the winning goal for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh also won the next three games, making them the Eastern Conference semifinalist for 1996.
During the regular season, fans don’t have opportunities to watch their favorite players struggle through multiple overtimes. Perhaps this year, you’ll have the opportunity to experience another historic game.
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