What Are the Overtime Rules for Playoffs in the NHL?

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The National Hockey League, better known as the NHL, has standard regulation play time of three 20-minute periods. When the score of the two teams playing ends in a tie, the game will go into overtime. Some of the rules are different and the time on the clock is different than regulation play. 

At the end of each hockey season, the top teams in the NHL will advance to the playoffs with hopes of making it to the Stanley Cup Championship. Overtime periods during NHL playoffs have their own set of rules. Read on to learn more. 

What Is Regulation Play Time During NHL Playoff Games?

During the NHL playoffs, the regulation play time is the same as during the regular season. There are three 20-minute periods during both a regular season NHL game and a playoff game. Although the game is clocked at 60 minutes, the actual amount of time a game lasts, including intermissions and play time may be much longer.

Each intermission between periods lasts 17 minutes. This intermission time is used to give players a rest, a time to regroup in the locker room and time to clean the ice before the next period is played. 

What Is Overtime Play Time During NHL Playoff Games?

During the NHL playoffs, overtime is played if the teams are tied at the end of regulation play. There's an intermission before overtime starts, and the clock is set to 20 minutes. The overtime period is played with five players and a goalie on the ice from each team. The game ends when one of the teams scores. The rest of the time on the clock is ignored.

The playoff overtime differs from that of the regular season overtime. During regular season, overtime periods are 5 minutes long and only three players and a goalie for each team participate. If a goal is not scored before the 5-minute period is over, the overtime goes to a shootout. Three players from each team are selected and have the opportunity to try to score on the goalie. At the end of the shootout, the team who scored the most goals wins. 


How Many Overtime Periods Are Played During NHL Playoffs?

During the playoffs, there aren't any shootouts. If teams are tied at the end of the 20-minute overtime period, they get an intermission and then go into another 20-minute period. This continues until a team scores and wins the game. 


Are Penalties Called During an Overtime Period?

When an overtime period is being played during an NHL playoff game, all penalties are assessed just as they are in regulation play. The team that's assessed the penalty will play with only four players and a goalie on the ice, while the other team will still skate with five players and a goalie, giving them an advantage. 

What Is the Record for the Longest Overtime NHL Game?

The record for the longest NHL playoff game goes all the way back to 1936. The Stanley Cup final game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Maroons went through the regulation play and six overtimes before a single goal was scored. Player Mud Bruneteau, on the Detroit Red Wings, scored the game winning goal for a final score of 1-0.