WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Florida Panthers played the Carolina Hurricanes in the opening game of the Eastern Conference final series Thursday night. But they didn't finish until early Friday.
Those fans who stayed awake for Florida's marathon 3-2 win at the 19:47 mark in the fourth overtime likely didn't get to bed until after 2 a.m. Friday, about six hours after the puck drop.
It was the longest game in franchise history for both teams, and it ranks as the sixth-longest game in NHL history.
Panthers outlast Hurricanes in 4th OT in longest game in franchise history
That humor wasn't lost on the Panthers, whose social media accounts won the pre-dawn hours.
The Panthers shared a get-to-job-or-school-late pass in jest at 2:22 a.m. on Twitter, recognizing the likelihood that many fans didn't anticipate an ending to an instant classic that stretched into the wee hours of the next day.
By order of the Florida Panthers: pic.twitter.com/lvst9KB6D0— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) May 19, 2023
Accompanying the post was a message: "By order of the Florida Panthers:"
It garnered more than 879,000 views and had more than 13,000 likes by midday Friday.
Of course, it begs the question: How many fans printed out the passes and tried to put them to use?
The Panthers will be back in action Saturday night.