The NHL playoffs are filled with excitement, anticipation and unpredictability. Fans from all around the world tune in to watch their favourite teams take on one another in hopes of clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. But what happens when the score is tied at the end of regulation time? That’s where overtime comes into play.
Overtime is an exciting and nerve-wracking event for both fans and players alike. It can make or break a team’s chances of winning, and it’s crucial to understand how it works in the NHL playoffs. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the rules and regulations surrounding overtime in NHL playoffs, so you can be fully prepared and informed.
“The scoring opportunities in overtime are few and far between, making every shot, pass, and save that much more important.” -Wayne Gretzky
We’ll walk you through the various types of overtime, the adjustments made by officials, and the ultimate sudden death format that decides who moves forward in the playoffs. You’ll learn about the importance of strategy, momentum shifts, and endurance during overtime play.
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just beginning to get into hockey, understanding the ins and outs of overtime is crucial to truly appreciating the intensity and drama of NHL playoff games. So buckle up and get ready to learn all about how overtime works in NHL playoffs!
Overview of NHL Playoff Overtime Rules
The NHL playoff overtime rules are different from the regular season. Teams play 60 minutes in the regular season, with the game ending in a tie if neither team scores more goals during that time. However, playoff games require a winner to be determined, so they use an overtime format that ensures one team will emerge victorious. In this article, we’ll look at how overtime works in NHL playoffs.
The Basics of Playoff Overtime in the NHL
Playoff games can consist of multiple overtime periods until someone scores a goal. The first overtime period typically lasts for 20 minutes and follows a 5-on-5 format where each team has five skaters and one goaltender on the ice.
In case the score remains tied after the first overtime period, the teams play another period using the same format. This goes on until one team scores a goal and wins the game. The length of these additional overtime periods also changes from 20 minutes to 10 minutes as the playoffs progress to prevent extremely long games.
If no team scores during any of the extra-time periods, then a shootout occurs, which is a rare occurrence. Each team gets three players to take shots against the other team’s goalie, with the winning side scoring more goals declared the winner of the game.
“The most exciting overtime hockey you can watch, or lose your mind trying.” -Mike Milbury
How Overtime Works Throughout the NHL Playoffs
The playoffs begin with a best-of-seven format, where two opposing teams play up to seven games, except for the Stanley Cup finals, which have no limit on play-offs rounds. Any game which ends up as a draw (tie) enters into overtime until a winning goal gets scored.
As the Playoffs approach their last few rounds, sudden-death overtime takes place. In this type of overtime scenario, the first team to score a goal wins the game and moves on to the next round. Sudden-death has been responsible for many historic moments in NHL history, making it perhaps the perfect time to watch hockey.
“It’s like someone flipped a switch when playoff overtime occurs. The intensity level just goes through the roof.” -Auston Matthews
Key Differences Between Regular-Season and Playoff Overtime
The most significant difference between regular-season and playoff overtime is that there is no shootout in the playoffs to separate two teams if the main game minutes end up with both failing to score goals. Instead, the teams play an indefinite number of 20-minute overtime periods until one side scores a goal. This can lead to exceptionally long games as a result and is unique to post-season hockey in North America.
Overtimes requiring a winning team emerge from ties happening in early season use at least one more player on each team’s side compared to the five-on-five used in the standard period. Ties during the regulation season will not continue indefinitely as they do in the playoffs. When a tied game completes its designated extra time-periods, the tie counts towards both teams’ respective records.
Overtime is an integral part of playoff hockey, adding to the drama and excitement of every game. From sudden death overtime to the classic back-and-forth battles, NHL postseason hockey never disappoints fans. Linking rules of these critical games highlights why overtimes have distinguished them so uniquely and matters profoundly if you’re planning to follow along this year.
How Long Can Overtime Last in NHL Playoffs?
Overtime is common in NHL playoffs when the scores are tied after regulation. Teams go into sudden-death play, with the first team to score a goal winning the game. Overtime can last for an indeterminate period of time and can be an extremely exciting part of the NHL playoffs.
Maximum Time Allowed for Overtime in NHL Playoffs
There is no limit on how long overtime periods can last in NHL playoff games. The length of the overtime period has been known to exceed two full periods of regular play (60 minutes). In fact, some of the longest overtimes in NHL history have lasted more than 100 minutes. This means that players must remain focused enough to keep playing until the very end.
What Happens if No One Scores During the First Overtime?
If there is still no winner after each team plays one five-minute overtime, another overtime will start immediately. Players swap sides, and teams change ends to start the next period. This process repeats until a goal is scored, giving a team the victory. These multiple extra sessions add to the intensity of the game, as both teams are fighting to win but also trying not to make mistakes that may lead to their opponent scoring the decisive goal.
How Many Overtimes Can Be Played in an NHL Playoff Game?
The number of overtimes played in NHL playoff games varies from one game to another. Records show that a single game required six overtimes before either team managed to break the tie-cutting this record back in May 2020 were the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets. If such a scenario happens, it’s guaranteed to be one of the most memorable games in hockey history thought it can be exhausting for the athletes.
Longest Overtime Games in NHL Playoff History
The longest overtime game recorded in NHL playoff history was a contest between the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings that took place on March 24, 1936 – at over six hours long. The second-longest overtime lasted more than four and a half hours and involved the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars.
“I don’t think I could put it into words,” Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point said after an overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. “It’s emotionally draining for sure but so much fun to be a part of.”
Overtimes can be intense, physically demanding, and emotional for both players and viewers, ensuring that each moment is exhilarating. While there is no limit to how many overtimes are possible, one goal will ultimately determine the winner of the game, making each additional period crucial. Regardless, the spirit of competition makes every minute worthwhile for fans and participants alike.
How Does Overtime Work in NHL Playoffs?
In the National Hockey League playoffs, overtime can be a thrilling and intense experience. But how does it work exactly? Let’s dive into the details of playoff overtime in the NHL.
The Role of Shootouts in NHL Playoff Overtime
Since the 2005-06 season, shootouts have been used to break ties during regular-season games in the NHL. However, during playoff games, things are a bit different. If a game is tied at the end of regulation time, teams will play sudden-death overtime until one team scores the winning goal.
During playoff overtime, each team must continue to play with five skaters, including their goalie. The first team to score a goal wins the game and moves on to the next round of the playoffs. There are no shootouts or tiebreakers like there are during the regular season.
Why Do Some People Dislike Shootouts in Overtime?
While shootouts may add excitement to regular-season games, many fans and players alike dislike them during playoff games because they are seen as too arbitrary. In a shootout, only three players from each team get to take shots on net, which means that not all players get a chance to contribute to the outcome of the game.
In contrast, during playoff overtime, every player gets a chance to make a difference and help their team win. This makes for a much more exciting and emotionally charged atmosphere in the arena.
What Happens if the Goalie Commits a Penalty During Overtime?
If the goalie commits a penalty during overtime, the opposing team will receive a power play. Unlike in regulation time, however, the penalized team cannot substitute its goaltender. Instead, they must continue to play with their goalie in the penalty box. This can be a risky strategy, as playing without a goaltender gives the opposing team a significant advantage on offense.
How Have Ties Been Resolved in NHL Playoff History?
In the past, ties during playoff games were resolved in various ways. For example, from 1917-1926, tied games were simply replayed until one team won. In later years, ties were resolved by adding additional periods of sudden-death overtime until one team scored a goal.
One famous example of this occurred in Game 1 of the 1996 Western Conference semifinals between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues. The game went into triple overtime, lasting over four hours, before Steve Yzerman of the Red Wings scored the winning goal. That game remains one of the longest in NHL playoff history.
“I think just taking the shootout away would make everything a lot better,” said Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin. “You have it for the regular season – maybe you change that too eventually – but definitely take it out of playoffs.”
The format of playoff overtime may have evolved over time, but the excitement and intensity of sudden-death hockey will always remain a special aspect of the NHL playoffs.
Notable Overtime Moments in NHL Playoff History
The NHL playoffs are one of the most exciting and intense sporting events. Nothing beats the feeling of sudden death overtime, where every goal could be the winning one. Here are some notable moments in NHL playoff history that will forever be remembered.
Biggest Upsets in NHL Playoff Overtime History
In 2019, the Columbus Blue Jackets made franchise history by sweeping the heavily favored Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs. The series had three games go into overtime, with the biggest upset coming in game one. Late in the fourth overtime period, Seth Jones scored the game-winning goal to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay, shocking the hockey world.
“It’s hard to explain what just happened here tonight,” said Jones. “We knew we were capable of this, but no one else did.”
In 1996, the New York Islanders faced off against the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. After losing the first two games of the series, the Islanders fought back to force a seventh and deciding game. In overtime of game seven, David Volek scored the series-clinching goal to eliminate the Penguins, who had won the Stanley Cup the year before.
“I don’t think anybody gave us much of a chance,” said Volek after the game. “We came out and played hard, and things happened our way.”
Most Memorable Goals Scored in NHL Playoff Overtime
One of the most memorable goals in NHL playoff overtime history was scored by Bobby Orr in the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals. In game four, Orr flew through the air after scoring the game-winning goal, which also won the Bruins their first Stanley Cup in 29 years.
“It was a great feeling to score that goal,” recalled Orr. “But it was even better to win the Cup for Boston.”
In game six of the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals, Brett Hull scored one of the most controversial goals in NHL history. Hull’s foot appeared to be in the goalie crease, which was against the rules at the time, but the officials allowed the goal to stand, giving the Dallas Stars the championship over the Buffalo Sabres.
“I knew my toe was still in the paint, but the puck wasn’t there anymore,” said Hull. “The ref wasn’t gonna take away a Stanley Cup-winning goal.”
Controversial Overtime Calls in NHL Playoff History
The 2013 playoffs saw a highly controversial call in overtime of game three between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson had his shot deflected off teammate Andrew Shaw’s shin pads, and it wound up in the back of the net. However, replays showed that Shaw’s stick was above the crossbar when he made contact with the puck, which should have negated the goal. The goal stood, and the Blackhawks went on to win the series and eventually the Stanley Cup.
“I honestly didn’t know if it would count or not,” said Shaw. “Luckily, it did, and we got the win.”
In the 1993 Adams Division semifinals, the Quebec Nordiques faced off against the Montreal Canadiens. In overtime of game four, referee Kerry Fraser missed an obvious high-sticking penalty against the Canadiens’ Vincent Damphousse. Seconds later, Damphousse scored the game-winning goal to give Montreal the victory and ultimately the series.
“It’s tough to swallow, especially when it’s such an obvious call,” said Nordiques coach Pierre Page. “But you can’t blame the outcome of a series on one missed call.”
Overtime in NHL playoffs is where memories are made and legends are born. Whether it’s a stunning upset or a controversial call, every moment is etched in history forever.
How Do Overtime Rules in NHL Playoffs Compare to Other Sports?
The NHL playoffs are an exciting time for hockey fans all over the world. The intensity and drama of each game is only intensified by the unique overtime rules that govern how games are decided. While these rules may be familiar to die-hard hockey fans, they can be confusing or even mystifying to those who don’t follow the sport closely.
Differences Between NHL Playoff Overtime and Regular-Season Overtime
The biggest difference between NHL playoff overtime and regular-season overtime is the way games are decided. In the regular season, overtime is played with just five skaters per team instead of six, and ends after a sudden-death period if neither team scores. But in the playoffs, teams continue playing until someone scores, no matter how many extra periods it takes.
In addition, there are no shootouts in playoff games – the teams must keep playing 5-on-5 until someone scores a goal. This makes the playoffs particularly grueling for players, as games can stretch well beyond regular regulation times.
Comparing NHL Playoff Overtime to Overtime in Other Hockey Leagues
NHL playoff overtime differs significantly from other hockey leagues around the world, especially when it comes to deciding tie-breakers. For example, in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), shootouts are used in both regular-season and playoff games to determine the winner after a tied score at the end of overtime.
The Swedish Hockey League (SHL) uses a similar approach in their playoffs, although unlike the KHL, they don’t use shootouts in regular-season games. Instead, the SHL’s overtime rules are structured so that the first four periods are played with a full team roster, while subsequent periods are restricted to just four skaters per team. This can create some interesting dynamics in the later stages of longer games, as teams are forced to adapt and adjust their strategies on the fly.
Finally, it’s worth noting that many amateur leagues around the world don’t have formal overtime rules at all – instead, games simply end in a tie if neither team manages to score after regulation time has ended.
“The NHL’s playoff format is one of the most exhilarating experiences in sports. You never know when or how the next game will end,” said former NHL player Colby Armstrong.
All in all, the NHL playoffs offer a unique and intense hockey-watching experience thanks to the league’s distinct overtime rules. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual observer, understanding these rules can help deepen your appreciation for the sport and the unparalleled excitement of its postseason games.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the format of overtime in NHL playoffs?
The format of overtime in NHL playoffs is sudden-death. This means that the first team to score a goal wins the game. Unlike the regular season, there is no shootout in playoff overtime. Instead, teams play 5-on-5 until a goal is scored.
How are goals scored in overtime during NHL playoffs?
Goals are scored in overtime during NHL playoffs the same way they are scored in regular time. The only difference is that the first team to score a goal wins the game. If a goal is scored, the game is immediately over and the team that scored the goal advances to the next round of the playoffs.
What happens if a team receives a penalty during overtime in NHL playoffs?
If a team receives a penalty during overtime in NHL playoffs, the other team goes on a power play. The power play will continue until the team on the power play scores a goal or until the penalty time expires. If the team on the power play scores a goal, the game is over and they advance to the next round. If the penalty time expires and no goal is scored, the game returns to 5-on-5 play.
How long can overtime last during NHL playoffs?
Overtime during NHL playoffs can last as long as it takes for a goal to be scored. There is no time limit on playoff overtime. This means that the game could potentially go on for hours until a goal is scored and a winner is determined.
What happens if no team scores during overtime in NHL playoffs?
If no team scores during overtime in NHL playoffs, the game continues in sudden-death format until a goal is scored. There is no limit to the number of overtimes that can be played. The game will continue until a goal is scored and a winner is determined.
Are there any rule changes for overtime in NHL playoffs compared to the regular season?
Yes, there is one rule change for overtime in NHL playoffs compared to the regular season. In playoff overtime, teams play 5-on-5 until a goal is scored. There is no shootout in playoff overtime. In the regular season, if a game is tied after overtime, a shootout is used to determine the winner.