What Was The Longest Overtime In Hockey? [Ultimate Guide!]

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While it is always great to score a goal and add a few more precious minutes to your game day, the true meaning of sportsmanship is never ending an overtime game. In fact, sometimes the extra frame can even decide the outcome of a match. Even the Stanley Cup final is not immune to sudden death overtime thanks to the magic of the playoffs. Hockey is a game that rewards skill, determination, and above all, honesty.

However, not all overtime games are created equal. Some are much more exciting than others, and knowing when to stop can be the difference between a thrilling finish and a dull draw. Luckily, thanks to Stats Bomb, we can keep track of the all-time record for longest hockey overtime games as well as the top 5 most exciting ones.

The All-Time Record For Longest Overtime Games

It may not be a well-kept secret that hockey is one of the most popular sports in the world. Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could stop the world’s greatest sport from continuing to grow in popularity. It would be a grand accomplishment to beat the record for longest hockey overtime game, and Canada’s National Hockey League certainly accomplished this feat. Even now that the sport has changed due to the pandemic, the NHL continues to post record-breaking attendance figures.

On February 21, 2020, the Carolina Hurricanes squared off against the New York Islanders in a battle of the Atlantic Division rivals. The game was scoreless after two periods, and went into overtime tied 1-1. The game saw all 60 minutes of extra time played, which is equivalent to 4 hours and 30 minutes of real-life hockey. The previous record for longest overtime game was set on January 25, 2020, and pitted the Boston Bruins against the Buffalo Sabres. Back then, the game lasted 3 hours and 57 minutes, not counting a 60-minute third period. So, in reality, over 4 hours of hockey passed during that game.

The Top 5 Most Exciting Overtime Games

While the all-time record for longest hockey overtime game is a feat to be proud of, it was not the only record the NHL shattered that day. The last line of the game proved to be extra special as well as it snapped the Sabres’ 16-game winning streak and handed the Black and Gold their first regulation loss of the season. With two minutes left to play in regulation, Cody Perrier took a shot from the point that snuck inside the arm of Isles’ goalie Thomas Greiss. The puck eventually made its way to the stick of Mathew Barzal, who quickly made the pass to Joonas Dessalem, opening the floodgates for the Isles. Luckily for the Hurricanes, the overtime session was not nearly as eventful as the entire game. All told, it was a case of good things come in pairs as they also set a new league record for most goals scored in a game. The previous record of 16 was also shattered when the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators combined for 28 goals in a game.

The Most Goals In One Game

That was not the only record the NHL shattered that day as the Toronto Maple Leafs stunned the New York Rangers with a record-breaking seven goals. The previous record for most goals in a game was also set by the Leafs as they tallied seven against the Rangers on December 31, 2019. However, the 7-0 scoreline did not accurately reflect the actual excitement of that game as the entire 60 minutes of overtime were played in a standing position, with fans cheering and clapping along with the action as they watched the game on large screen TVs.

The Most Assists In One Game

On December 19, 2019, the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins played a game that was not only interesting but also extremely exciting. The Capitals broke a 1-1 tie in the first overtime session when Jay Beagle slotted home a rebound for the 2-1 lead. The Bruins challenged the score, and both teams went into a tense second overtime. Ultimately, the Capitals prevailed as Shawn Thornton and Chris Wagner got the last laugh as they scored the game-winning goal with 31 seconds left in the second overtime. The previous record for most assists in a game was set on November 30, 2019, and pitted the San Jose Sharks against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Sharks’ Michal Handzus passed Mario Lemieux as he dished out a career-high five assists that night.

Fastest Goal Scored

On February 23, 2020, the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators played a game that saw all 60 minutes of extra time utilized. The last line of the game was particularly eventful as Ryan McDonagh scored the eventual game-winning goal with 14 seconds left in the third period. The previous record for fastest goal scored was also set by the Islanders as they blasted the Devils in their home opener on October 5, 2019. With 38 seconds left in the second period, Brock Trotter scored the game-tying goal, and the two teams went into overtime. Ultimately, the Isles prevailed as Kyle Okposo scored the overtime winner with 11 seconds left on the clock. This goal matched the record for the fastest goal scored in any sport as the Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees in the 20th Rose Bowl on January 1, 2020. The previous record was also set by the Blackhawks and Predators as they combined for a 10-minute fight that decided the winner on December 31, 2019. The Blackhawks ultimately emerged as the victors in that battle by the way of two goals from Patrick Kane.

Longest Power Play

The New York Rangers held the previous record for longest power play when they went 5 minutes and 15 seconds in the third period of a 7-3 win over the Islanders on February 21, 2020. However, that record was not safe as the Tampa Bay Lightning went on a 5-minute man-advantage in the second period of a 3-1 win over the Rangers on March 12. The Lightning’s 5 minutes and 45 seconds of power play time were not enough to overcome a 2-0 deficit. The previous record for longest power play was set on January 12, 2020, and was between the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings. This time, it was the Kings who became the record-breaking team as they went 15 minutes and 43 seconds of power play time. However, unlike the Isles and Senators game mentioned above, this time the power play did not decide the victor as the Devils overcame the Kings 5-4 in a shootout. It was the longest power play in the history of the league, and it was a testament to the skill of the players involved as only one of the five goals was scored during normal play.

These stats prove that while the world’s greatest sport is not yet finished, it is definitely changing. The length of the games are getting longer and the number of goals scored are getting higher. Fortunately, the officials have not changed their standards as they continue to allow for a fair and honest game. However, it is important to keep in mind that while the NHL may be back, there are still safety concerns as well as a lack of transparency regarding the state of the pandemic.

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