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How the NHL Overtime Rules Have Changed the Game

By: TJ Masterline
Date: Nov 7, 2015
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The new overtime rules present a very dramatic change in the way end games play out. Here's exactly how it works: ¥ BASICS: It's 3-on-3 play for five sudden-death minutes. ¥ PENALTIES & POWER PLAYS: If a penalty is taken in overtime, the teams play 4-on-3. (Essentially, the team on the power play just adds another player.) If a second penalty is taken, the teams will play 5-on-3. If a penalty carries over from regulation, the teams will play at 4-on-3. ¥ "At no time will a team have fewer than three skaters on the ice during the overtime period." ¥ IF TIED AFTER OVERTIME: If a goal isn't scored, the game moves to a three-round shootout. Apply the same shootout rules as in previous years. BE CAREFUL PULLING YOUR GOALIE: If you pull your goalie for an extra attacker in overtime, and the other team scores into your empty net, you'll forfeit the one point you gained by forcing overtime. So far this year, 68% of the overtime games have ended during the 3 on 3, vs. last year 45% of the games ended in the 4 on 4 overtime. Here are how some of the players thought the overtime would change the game. John Tavares’ vision for what three-on-three overtime should look like is based on enchanting memories he owns of playing neighborhood pick-up games with his buddies. “Whenever you play next-goal-wins in the backyard,” Tavares says, “that’s when you see some of the most exciting, intense hockey.” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has already said he wouldn’t mind being on the ice with two other Pittsburgh forwards. Can you imagine Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel on the ice together in a three-on-three format? “Being smart will be key,” Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist says. “One bad bounce and it’s going to be 3-on-0 the other way.” So, as you can see this is an exciting change that the NHL implemented this year and the players with talent are also excited about it.

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