NHL

The 5 Longest Games in NHL History

Since the NHL began play in 1917, five games needed five or more overtimes to finish. These are the longest games the league has seen

The 5 longest games in NHL history originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Game 1 of the 2023 Eastern Conference Final began in Raleigh, North Carolina at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday.

It didn't end until minutes before the clock struck 2 a.m. on Friday.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers needed nearly four full overtimes to decide a winner at PNC Arena. With 13 seconds remaining until the fifth OT, Florida's Matthew Tkachuk finally ended the marathon with a game-winning goal.

After 139 minutes and 47 seconds of playing time, the Panthers claimed a 1-0 series lead.

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So where does Panthers-Hurricanes rank among the longest games in NHL history?

How long is overtime during the NHL regular season?

A standard NHL game is 60 minutes long divided into three 20-minute periods. If a regular season game is tied, it goes to a five-minute overtime period where the first team to score wins the game. If no team scores in that duration, the game is decided by a shootout.

How long is overtime during the NHL playoffs?

In the playoffs, overtime periods are 20 minutes long, with the first team to score winning the game. However, if the game remains tied after 20 minutes, another 20-minute overtime period will start. This continues until a team nets a goal. 

What are the longest games in NHL history?

The Panthers-Hurricanes game was the sixth-longest in NHL history. Here's a look at the five that were longer, with all of them reaching at least a fifth OT:

Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Maroons, 1936: 6 OT

The longest game in NHL history happened all the way back in 1936. In Game 1 of the national semifinal (before conferences arrived), the Maroons hosted the Red Wings in a lengthy thriller. Detroit right wing Mud Bruneteau scored after 16:30 in the sixth overtime period, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 win and a 1-0 series lead. They would eventually sweep Montreal in three games en route to winning the Stanley Cup.  

Total length: 176:30

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs, 1933: 6 OT

Before the Red Wings and Maroons, the Bruins and Maple Leafs went to a sixth overtime period in Game 5 of the 1933 semifinals. Maple Leafs right wing Ken Doraty sent Toronto to the finals after scoring 4:46 into the sixth period to give his squad the 1-0 win and a 3-2 series win. Toronto, however, fell in the national final.

Total length: 164:46

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins, 2000: 5 OT

The next three longest games all transpired at the turn of the century, starting with the Flyers and Penguins in Game 4 of the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals. The game was tied 1-1 until Flyers center forward Keith Primeau broke the stalemate after 12:01 played during the fifth overtime period. Primeau’s goal tied the series at 2-2, and the Flyers went on to win the ensuing two games to reach the Eastern Conference final, where their run ended.

Total length: 152:01

Columbus Blue Jackets at Tampa Bay Lightning, 2020: 5 OT

This game is the most recent game to have such a lengthy finish time. In Game 1 of the first round in the East, the Blue Jackets and Lightning got off to an enthralling start. After 10:27 in quintuple overtime, Lightning center forward Brayden Point secured the puck after a deflection and shot it in from distance. Tampa Bay would go on to win the Stanley Cup that year.

Total length: 150:27

Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at Dallas Stars, 2003: 5 OT

The fifth longest game in NHL history came in 2003 when the Ducks battled the Stars in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation, Ducks right wing Petr Sykora sealed the game just 48 seconds into quintuple overtime to give his team the 4-3 win. Anaheim’s run that season ended in the national final.

Total length: 140:48

How many NHL games went to quadruple overtime?

There have now been 15 games in NHL playoff history that reached a fourth overtime.

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