Is Playoff Hockey Overtime Sudden Death

Playoff Hockey Overtime is indeed sudden death. Here are five supporting facts:
1. Sudden Death Format: In playoff hockey, overtime is played in a sudden death format. This means that the first team to score a goal during overtime wins the game immediately, regardless of how much time is left on the clock.

2. Continuous Play: Unlike regular season overtime, which is played with a five-minute period followed by a shootout if necessary, playoff hockey overtime consists of continuous play until a goal is scored.

3. No Shootouts: Playoff hockey overtime does not involve shootouts. Instead, the teams continue to play with full lineups, giving them an equal opportunity to score and win the game.

4. Adjusted Rules: Although the rules of the game remain largely the same during playoff overtime, certain adjustments are made to ensure the game progresses smoothly. For example, teams change ends after the third period, ensuring equal offensive opportunities for both sides.

5. Intense and Exciting: Playoff hockey overtime is known for its intensity and excitement. With the game potentially hanging in the balance, every shot, save, and play becomes crucial, creating a thrilling atmosphere for players and fans alike.


1. How long does playoff hockey overtime last?
During playoff hockey overtime, there is no set time limit. The game continues until a team scores a goal, making it a sudden death format.

2. Do teams switch ends during playoff overtime?
Yes, teams switch ends after the third period of playoff overtime. This ensures both teams have an equal opportunity to score and balances any potential ice advantages.

3. Can teams use shootouts during playoff overtime to determine the winner?
No, shootouts are not used during playoff hockey overtime. The game continues with continuous play until one team scores, deciding the winner.

4. Are there any rule changes during playoff hockey overtime?
Overall, the rules remain the same during playoff hockey overtime. However, certain adjustments are made, such as changing ends, to provide equal opportunities.

5. How often are playoff hockey games decided in overtime?
The frequency of playoff hockey games being decided in overtime varies. Some series may feature multiple games with overtime goals, while others may have none. It adds to the unpredictable nature of the playoffs.

6. What happens if a team scores during a delayed penalty in playoff hockey overtime?
If a team on the power-play scores a goal during playoff hockey overtime, the game is immediately over, and that team wins. A delayed penalty does not carry over to the next period.

7. Has a Stanley Cup Final game ever gone into multiple overtimes?
Yes, there have been several Stanley Cup Final games that have gone into multiple overtimes. One notable example is the 1996 game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which lasted into the third overtime period.

BOTTOM LINE: Playoff hockey overtime is sudden death, meaning the first team to score a goal wins the game. It is played with continuous play, does not involve shootouts, and keeps the same rules with minor adjustments. The unpredictable nature of playoff overtime adds to the excitement and intensity of the game.