How Long Is Overtime In Hockey Playoffs

How Long Is Overtime in Hockey Playoffs?
The duration of overtime in hockey playoffs varies depending on the situation and the league. However, there are some general guidelines and factors that determine the length of overtime periods. Here are five supporting facts about the length of overtime in hockey playoffs:

1. Regulation Period: In both regular-season and playoff games, the regulation period consists of three 20-minute periods in the National Hockey League (NHL) and other professional leagues. If a game is tied after the regulation period, it goes into overtime.

2. Sudden Death Format: Overtime in hockey playoffs typically follows a sudden death format, where the first team to score a goal wins the game. This means that the team that scores a goal during overtime immediately ends the game.

3. Length of Overtime Periods: In the NHL playoffs, each overtime period is 20 minutes long. If no team scores during the first overtime period, subsequent overtime periods are also 20 minutes in length until a team finally scores. This format ensures that each overtime period has the same duration as a regular period during regulation time.

4. Intermission: Between each overtime period, there is a standard intermission of typically 15 minutes. This break allows the players to rest, regroup, and prepare for the next period. During this time, coaches may make adjustments or motivate their teams further.

5. Continuous Play: Overtime in hockey playoffs features continuous play without commercial breaks, sidesteps the shootout format used in the regular season, and maintains the intensity of the game until a winning goal is scored.


Q1: Can overtime in hockey playoffs end in a tie?
A1: No, overtime in hockey playoffs cannot end in a tie. The sudden death format ensures that a team will eventually score a goal and win the game.

Q2: Are there any changes to the length of overtime in different rounds of the playoffs?
A2: No, the length of overtime remains the same throughout the playoffs. Each overtime period is 20 minutes long.

Q3: Can teams make lineup changes during intermissions in overtime?
A3: Yes, teams can make lineup changes during the intermission between overtime periods. Coaches may strategize, make adjustments, and substitute players as needed.

Q4: Are there any additional rules in overtime compared to regulation time?
A4: In most cases, the same rules that apply during regulation time also apply in overtime. However, penalties called during regulation time may carry over to overtime depending on the severity and nature of the infraction.

Q5: What is the longest overtime game in NHL playoff history?
A5: The longest overtime game in NHL playoff history occurred on March 24, 1936, between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons. The game lasted for 116 minutes and 30 seconds, with Mud Bruneteau of Detroit scoring the winning goal.

Q6: Can overtime in hockey playoffs continue indefinitely?
A6: In theory, yes. However, in practice, games rarely stretch beyond the second or third overtime period before a goal is scored.

Q7: How does the length of overtime affect player fatigue?
A7: Overtime in hockey playoffs can be physically demanding, especially when games extend into multiple periods. Players may experience fatigue, and both teams may need to manage their energy levels and make wise player substitutions to maintain high performance.

Bottom Line:
The length of overtime in hockey playoffs varies, but typically, each overtime period is 20 minutes long. There is an intermission of about 15 minutes between each period. Overtime follows a sudden death format, ensuring that a goal ends the game. The same rules as regulation time usually apply, and lineup changes can be made during intermissions. Despite the potential for prolonged games, most playoff overtime games do not extend beyond a few periods.