The ‘Marathon on Ice’ vs. the Blazers-Nuggets Marathon at Moda

Jamie Hudson
NBC Sports Northwest

The "Marathon on Ice" between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs was an intense five-overtime game that may have also had huge implications on the future of both clubs.

NBC's ‘Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice Podcast' digs into Game four of the 2000 Eastern Conference Semifinals, which left both the Flyers and Penguins exhausted in the middle of the playoffs. But in this ‘Sports Uncovered' we find out more than just the game -- about how the arena ran out of food, players received IVs and the players' bodies were pushed to the brink.

The Sports Uncovered: Marathon on Ice - NBC Sports Philadelphia: [How the Flyers and Penguins survived seven hours of playoff hockey as they battled in the longest game of the NHL's modern era.]

Sports Uncovered is available in the MyTeams app and on all podcasting platforms: Art 19AppleStitcherSpotifyGoogle PodcastsTuneIn and iHeart.

It is the longest game in modern NHL history.

At the start of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on May 4, 2000, no one would've guessed just how long this game would go when the puck dropped.

Neither the Flyers nor the Penguins had Rodney Hood to come in and save the day with his fresh legs. 

But more on the Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets quadruple-overtime game in a minute.

Most people know how the Flyers and Penguins game ended with a game-winning goal from Flyers' Keith Primeau.

But now over 20 years later, the Flyers and Penguins are reminiscing about the memorable game.

A grueling game that they won't forget what it did to them physically.

"I had a couple of shifts in the game, where I jumped on the ice and the bench was right near the center ice red line," Flyers Keith Jones said. "I took three steps one way and stopped, went back three the other way, stopped and turned to the bench and said "change" and just jumped on, so I can guarantee you I had a couple of shifts that were less than ten seconds long."

While Penguins goaltender Ron Tugnutt recalled, "I remember needing help going up the stairs by my legs, just I had nothing left. I was drained. I'd lost 12 pounds in that game. And I'm you know, I'm – my playing weight probably at that time was anywhere from, you know, probably about 158-160 pounds. So I lost twelve. And I was fairly. I felt like I'd lost a lot of strength to my legs and the lactic acid and so forth."

Once the third overtime hit, it was obvious every shift was filled with exhausted players.

It was a game that was logged with an official time of 152:01, which is the third-longest game in NHL history.

As for the Portland Trail Blazers finally outlasting the Denver Nuggets, 140-137, in Game 3 at the Moda Center -- that game took 3 hours 25 minutes back on May 3, 2019.

The four overtime periods, with 68 total game minutes and dramatic back and forth between the two teams, propelled the Blazers to a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals series.

That game's hero played just 23:35 -- and maybe that's why he ended up as the hero. He was the most-rested player on the court and it showed.  

Rodney Hood, who was a late-season acquisition from Cleveland, took the game over when no one else could do it.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts admitted that he wasn't planning on taking out his starting small forward Maurice Harkless.

"I'd like to take credit for that, but actually Moe was cramping up a little bit," Stotts said postgame. "So that was the reason for the substitution, but we did go to [Hood] a couple times. Obviously, the three-point shot was a scramble situation. CJ [McCollum] had a great play, but we did go to [Hood] because we liked the matchup a couple times and he had fresh legs."

Hood scored seven of Portland's 11 points in the final overtime, including a deep three-pointer with 18.6 seconds remaining in the game to put Portland up by two.

[RELATED]: Rodney Hood called game from the bench, then delivered

CJ McCollum played 60 minutes and one second while scoring 41 points in the win. Damian Lillard notched 28 points in 57:59. Nuggets big man Nikola Jokic played a whopping 64:58 and finished with a triple-double.

The game went so long it broke the NBA's app.


The Blazers and Nuggets played again on Sunday in Portland, roughly 36 hours after Game 3 ended.

[RELATED]: Trail Blazers show their character in epic, four-overtime win

It was the first 4OT playoff game since 1953.

But as far as I know, the Moda Center didn't run out of food or beer that night. Also, I was working that game, so I'm not 100 percent sure about that.

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

The Marathon on Ice vs. the Blazers-Nuggets Marathon at Moda originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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