What are the Hockey Overtime Rules?

What are the Hockey Overtime Rules

Overtime in hockey has differing rules due to various factors. In the NHL regular season, if the score is tied at the end of normal play, overtime consists of one 5-minute period of 3-on-3 hockey. If the game remains tied after 5 minutes, it will go to a shootout. However, in the playoffs, there are no 3-on-3 and no shootouts. Instead, overtime is played 5-on-5 for 20-minute periods in the sudden-death style. Teams will continue to play overtime periods until someone scores a goal.

 

So, what is the brief history of the NHL overtime rules? Are there fewer players who play in an NHL overtime? How many overtimes are there in hockey? What happens if nobody scores in overtime hockey? How many overtime periods are in hockey before a shootout occurs? How is overtime different in the NHL playoffs than in the regular season?

 

Here is a complete guide to overtime rules in hockey.

 

A Brief History of the NHL Overtime Rules

A Brief History of the NHL Overtime Rules

During the 1940s, hockey overtime was removed entirely outside of playoffs due to wartime restrictions. This restriction lasted approximately 40 years before overtime came back into the league. Since its reinstatement, overtime rules have continued to adapt. For example, in 1999, overtime went to a 5-minute, 4-on-4 period of sudden death action. Then in 2005, the shootout was introduced, and then in 2015, overtime went from 4-4 play to 3-3.

 

Does the Losing Team in Overtime Get a Standing Point?

Does the Losing Team in Overtime Get a Standing Point

With the current rules, if a team loses a regular season game in overtime, they receive one point in the standings. Getting one point is valuable because the regular season standings go off a points metric, so getting into overtime is an achievement even if a team loses.

 

However, if a team loses a game during the regular three action periods, they receive zero points.

 

Are there Fewer Players Who Play in an NHL Overtime?

Are there Fewer Players Who Play in an NHL Overtime

In the regular season, overtime hockey occurs with much fewer skaters than in regulation play. Current overtime rules dictate that overtime is played as 3-on-3 hockey. Each team fields three skaters and one goalie. If a penalty occurs, the team with the powerplay has a four-on-three player advantage on the ice.

 

How Many Overtimes are There in Hockey?

How Many Overtimes are There in Hockey

In regular season play, there is just one 5-minute overtime period. However, in playoff hockey, there is no limit on how many overtimes can be played. During playoff hockey, the teams will continue to play overtime periods until either team scores a goal.

 

The longest-recorded game in NHL history between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons had an incredible six overtime periods. The game had nearly 2 hours of added time. In 2020, a matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets had five periods of overtime hockey.

 

What Happens if Nobody Scores in Overtime Hockey?

What Happens if Nobody Scores in Overtime Hockey

Before the 21st century, the game would end in a draw if no goals were scored during overtime hockey. Nowadays, during regular-season games, the game will go to a shootout if nobody scores during the five minutes of overtime.

 

In a shootout, each team selects three initial skaters to score against the goaltender in a 1-on-1 penalty shot. The skater must move forward at all times during the shot, and in the event of a tie after the three shooters, the shootout becomes sudden death style.

 

In the case of postseason play, 20-minute overtime periods will continue to be played until either team scores a goal.

 

How Many Overtimes are in Hockey Before a Shootout?

Only one five-minute period of overtime occurs before a shootout. The overtime format is sudden death meaning the first team to score a goal wins the hockey game.

 

Is Overtime Different in the NHL Playoffs than Regular Season?

Is Overtime Different in the NHL Playoffs than Regular Season

Overtime in the Stanley Cup Finals and playoffs differ from regular season overtime. During regular season play, in the event of a tied game at the end of regulation, both teams will play a sudden-death overtime of 3-on-3 hockey. The period is five minutes long, and the teams will go to a shootout if the game remains tied. However, this is different for the playoffs or Stanley cup finals.

 

During the Stanley cup playoffs, overtime is still a sudden-death format. However, the periods are played at 5-on-5, just like during regulation. Furthermore, there is no limit on how many overtime periods can occur. Instead, during playoff games, both teams will continue to play overtime periods until a goal occurs to determine a winner.

 

Also, during the Stanley cup playoffs, there is an extended intermission between overtime periods to allow teams to recover their energy.

 

Conclusion: What are the Overtime Rules in Hockey?

In summary, the rules for overtime hockey can vary depending on the situation. As established in the early 20th century, the original rules were that overtime was a 20-minute sudden-death period played at 5-on-5. If the score remained tied after 20 minutes, the game would end in a draw. Overtime rules have changed dramatically since then, although playoff hockey still follows similar rules.

 

During the regular hockey season, if the score is in a tie at the end of regulation, the teams go to a 5-minute overtime period. During this period, the teams play 3-on-3 hockey until a goal happens or time expires. In the event of a penalty, the team awarded a power play can bring a 4th skater onto the ice. If the game remains tied after this overtime period, then the game goes to a penalty shot shootout, with each team sending three initial shooters.

 

In the Stanley Cup Finals and playoffs, overtime occurs at 5-on-5. Furthermore, the periods are 20 minutes long, and there is no possibility of a shootout. Instead, the teams will continue to play until a goal happens. The longest recorded playoff overtime lasted almost two hours of game time, with six overtime periods to determine a winner.

 

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