Panting for breath and skating with heavy legs, Oilers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were stuck on the ice in the dying seconds of Wednesday's 4-3 overtime finisher against the Florida Panthers. The tandem linked up to produce the game-deciding goal but their shift was a full two minutes and change, lasting 2:08.
"They didn't want to [be out that long], they got stuck out there," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan.
The blue and orange have been highly successful in extra time of late, winning the last four games that have gone past regulation. The club is 5-4 in overtime tilts that don't go to the shootout, 3-3 in the shootout and 8-7 overall.
Doling out a line of three rather than a pair of forwards and chosen defender, McLellan talked about the intricacies of the fourth period - and the importance of possession.
"Possession is what you need in overtime," said the Oilers bench boss. "The opening faceoff may be the first and most important moment of overtime. To win it and then maintain possession is key and then the ability to get ahead in a line change is important.
"Leon and Connor did not want to be out there for two minutes and eight seconds. They got trapped. They were breathing through their skin, almost, their lungs were so worn out and their legs were tired. But they stayed calm, they stayed in the middle of the rink and they were able to deflect things outside until we were able to get the line change. To me, that's part of what happens in 3-on-3."
Despite being gassed, the Oilers captain still had enough left in the tank to persevere.
"You have no idea what it feels like when your body's just empty of oxygen and lactic acid's building up in your legs but Connor's special, he found a way to skate," said McLellan.