Overtime (OT) is one of the most striking features of the National Hockey League and adds to the uniqueness of the whole game. If one has ever sifted through NHL matches, one would notice how there’s no draw in NHL. You win or lose. But, how does it work?
A hockey game is played for three periods of 20 minutes each, called Regulation Time. In a scenario where the teams are tied, another extra period is played. Whichever team scores in this extra period is considered the winner. This sudden death format to determine the winner is called Overtime.
National Hockey League (NHL) adopted its current OT rules in 2015-16. Scroll down to read more about how it is different in the regular season and the playoffs. Also Read: Why is the logo of Seattle Kraken one of the best in the NHL?
NHL Overtime Rules for the Regular Season
- The teams play 3-on-3 hockey (Three skaters and One Goaltender for each team) in a five-minute Overtime period
- The OT is played in sudden-death style, meaning whoever scores first wins the game.
- In a scenario where the teams haven’t scored in the five minutes, the game moves to a shootout
- Shootout: Each team sends three shooters who shoot three rounds of shooting. The team with the most number of goals after three rounds wins the game.
- If both teams have the same number of goals, the sudden death system seen in football is applied. To read about penalties and powerplay rules in Overtime, click here
- The winning team receives two points regardless of a regulation win/ overtime win. However, if a team loses in OT, they receive one point.
NHL OT Rules for the Post-Season/Playoffs
- The teams play 3-on-3 hockey (Three skaters and One Goaltender for each team) in a twenty-minute Overtime period
- The Playoff OT is also played in sudden-death style, meaning whoever scores first wins the game.
- Unlike the Regular Season, There is no shootout in the Playoffs. If no team has scored in the first overtime, another OT is played and it continues till one team scores.
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