The game looked like it may never end.
But when Marian Gaborik finally found the back of the net in triple overtime at 12:15 a.m. ET Thursday morning – a mere four hours and 45 minutes after the game’s scheduled puck drop – it was finally in the books, with the 2-1 win for the New York Rangers going down as the 20th longest in league history.
In all, the Rangers and Washington Capitals skated for nearly two full games: 114 minutes and 41 seconds.
The last game to go longer was back in 2008 between the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, one of only two games since the 2004-05 lockout that has lasted longer than Wednesday’s marathon in Washington.
This was the fifth longest game in Rangers history (the previous four were all in the 1930s) and the third longest for the Capitals (who lost in quadruple overtime in 1987 and 1996).
"He's a big-time player and that's a big-time play," Rangers centre Brian Boyle said of Gaborik's goal.
Some of the numbers coming out of the game meanwhile were remarkable.
Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh had 53:17 in ice time, earning praise from coach John Tortorella after the game.
"He has a mental toughness about him that has impressed us right away, when he first came to us," Tortorella said of McDonagh. "We kept asking him, are you okay? He said he was fine, he wanted more... It's a really good experience for our young D to get through it and find a way to get a win."
Capitals netminder Braden Holtby made 47 saves.
And teammate Alex Ovehckin, whose ice time had dwindled to 13 minutes in Game 2, played 35:14 and had five shots on goal and nine hits.
Poor Rangers defenceman Stu Bickel, however, had his last shift early in the second period and only spent 3:24 on the ice all game.
There were 105 total hits, 81 blocked shots and 94 faceoffs on the night.
The averages during the season? Only 45 hits, 28 blocked shots and 58 faceoffs a game.
Longest overtime games, last 10 seasons
1. Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4, Dallas Stars 3, April 24, 2003: 80:48 of OT 2. Vancouver Canucks 5, Dallas Stars 4, April 11, 2007: 78:06 of OT 3. Dallas Stars 2, San Jose Sharks 1, May 4, 2008: 69:03 of OT 4. Detroit Red Wings 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2, June 8, 2002: 54:47 of OT 5. New York Rangers 2, Washington Capitals 1, May 2, 2012: 54:41 of OT