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“As the game goes on longer and longer, guys get tired and there’s less chances being taken. So guys sit back, they make sure that you’re not giving up anything rather than trying to go for things,” Brouwer said. “When you get in trouble and you’re starting to get buzzed a little bit, you just fall back. You make sure that you’re protecting your house, your zone, and you’re not trying to generate too much offense as much as you are just trying to weather the pressure.”

Of the four multiple-OT games this spring, three ended in the first four minutes after intermission, including Nicklas Backstrom’s double-overtime winner in Game 2 at Boston. Laich wasn’t sure if it was fresh ice, maybe fewer chances for obstruction and more speed, but there’s no perfect answer for why so many overtime games have been taking less time.

“The opportunities are there,” Laich said. “I’m not a scientist.”