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Overtime, in ice hockey, is a method of determining the winner and loser of ice hockey matches should a game be tied after regulation. Two main methods include the overtime period (commonly referred to as overtime), and the shootout.

Overtime periods

Overtime periods are extra period beyond the third regulation period during a game, where normal hockey rules apply. Although in the past, full-length overtime periods were played, overtimes today are sudden death, meaning that the game ends immediately when a player scores a goal.

For the 1983–84 season, the NHL introduced a regular season overtime period of five minutes, compared to the twenty minutes of regulation periods. If the five minute overtime period ended with no scoring, the game was a tie (The World Hockey Association had used a 10-minute regular season overtime period, as had the NHL prior to World War II).

In 1987–88 and since 1995, the American Hockey League has awarded teams one point in the standings for an overtime loss (OTL). In 1998, the AHL introduced a rule where teams will play the five minute overtime period with four skaters and a goaltender, rather than at full strength (five skaters), except in two-man advantage situations. In a two-man advantage situation, the team with the advantage will play with five players. The rule was popular and adopted by the NHL and ECHL the next season.

Should the overtime period end with neither side scoring, the teams then take part in a "shootout", which goes to sudden death if tied after the third or fifth round, depending on the league.

Mats Sundin, Sergei Fedorov, Jaromír Jágr and Patrik Eliáš share the record for most regular season overtime goals with 15 each.

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, there isn't a shootout, and the overtime period is 20 minutes. Joe Sakic has the record for most career playoff overtime goals with eight. Interestingly, three of the game's legendary players, Mark Messier (109 playoff goals), Mario Lemieux (77 goals), and Gordie Howe (68 goals) never scored a playoff overtime goal. Overtime periods are played without commercial breaks.

In many leagues (including the NHL for regular-season games since the 2005–06 season) and in international competitions, a failure to reach a decision in a single overtime may lead to a shootout. Some leagues may eschew overtime periods altogether and end games in shootout should teams be tied at the end of regulation. In the three major North American professional hockey leagues (NHL, AHL, ECHL), regular season overtime periods are played four on four for one five minute period. In the Southern Professional Hockey League, regular season overtime periods are played three on three for one five minute period, with penalties resulting in the opponents skating one additional player on ice (up to two additional players) for the penalty for the first three minutes, and a penalty shot in the final two minutes.


International shootouts

In international competition, shootouts (or more formally, game-winning shots GWS, and, in some European countries, bullets, or bullits,), are often used. Each coach selects five skaters from their team to take penalty shot one at a time against the opposing goaltender, with teams alternating shots. After the ten players have all taken their shots, the team with the most goals is declared the winner. If the shootout is still tied after five skaters from each team have shot, the shootout continues one skater at a time until one team has won the advantage (assuring that each team has taken an equal number of shots). The shootout may end earlier, if one team has scored more goals than the opposing team could score with its remaining shooters. This happened in the 2006 Winter Olympics, in Turinmarker, Italymarker. Swedenmarker won an upset victory over the United Statesmarker (women's team) after only eight skaters. Sweden led 2 goals to none after the United States' fourth shot, rendering the remaining rounds unnecessary.

North American shootout

Most lower minor leagues (ECHL, Central, UHL) have featured a shootout where, at the end of regulation, a shootout similar to the international tournament format is used.

However, in 2000, the ECHL adopted the AHL's four-on-four overtime before the shootout.

For the 2004–05 AHL season, the AHL adopted a five-man shootout, which was first used in that league in 1986-87. The standard five-man shootout is used after four-on-four overtime for all minor leagues in North America.

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association is adding the shootout with effect from the 2008-09 season.

Following the lead of minor leagues, as of the 2005–06 season, the NHL ends exhibition and regular season games tied after the five minute overtime period by a shootout. Three skaters per team take shots on the opposing goalies, as opposed to the five in international and minor-league competition. The team with the most goals during their three shots is declared the winner. However, if the same number of goals are scored by both teams during the shootout, a sudden death shootout is begun, as in international competition. The teams alternate taking penalty shots, until one team scores and the other does not, thus producing a winner. All skaters (except goalies) on a team's roster must shoot before any player can shoot a second time. As of 2008, the NHL is considering a rules change that would outlaw the slapshot in shootouts, citing danger to goalies.

The shootout is not used in the playoffs for any North American league. Instead, 20 minute overtime periods are used until a single goal is scored.

In the National Hockey League and American Hockey League All-Star Skills Competitions, the competition ends in a penalty shootout known as the Breakaway Relay.


Strategy is considered to be very important during penalty shots and overtime shootouts for both the shooter and the goalie. Both shooters and goalies commonly consult their teammates and coaches for advice on the opposing player's style of play. Shooters often consider the goalie's strengths and weaknesses (such as a fast glove or stick save), preferred goaltending style (such as butterfly or stand-up) and method of challenging the shooter. Goaltenders often consider the shooter's shot preference, expected angle of attack, a patented move a shooter commonly uses and even handedness of the shooter.

Most shooters attempt to out-deke the goalie in order to create a better scoring chance. Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Martin St. Louis are examples of players who commonly use this strategy. However, it is not uncommon for a shooter to simply shoot for an opening without deking. This is commonly referred to as sniping. This is most commonly performed when a goalie challenges a shooter by giving them an open hole (by keeping a glove, pad or stick out of position or being out of sound goaltending position altogether to tempt the shooter to aim for the given opening). New York Rangers forward Markus Naslund and former NHL forward Brett Hull are commonly referred to as snipers. Very rarely a shooter may take a slapshot or wrist shot from the point or top of the slot. This is almost exclusively performed when a shooter either has a high level of confidence in their shot or they attempt to catch the goalie by surprise. Minnesota Wild forward Brian Rolston and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger have both used this strategy with success. In fact, Pronger succeeded in using this strategy in the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals on a penalty shot against Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward.

Notable playoff overtime contests

  • March 24, 1936 – Detroit's Mud Bruneteau ends the longest Stanley Cup playoff game ever, scoring the game's only goal in a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Maroons. The goal came 16:30 into the sixth overtime period for a total of 116:30 of overtime. The game was a mere 3:30 short of the equivalent of playing three games back-to-back-to-back.

  • April 23, 1950 – Pete Babando scores at 28:31 of overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 4-3 win in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals over the New York Rangers. It was the first time that a seventh game of a Final series went to overtime.

  • April 21, 1951 – Bill Barilko scores at 2:53 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 win in the fifth game of the Stanley Cup Finals over the Montreal Canadiens. All five games in the series needed overtime to be decided.

  • April 16, 1954 – Tony Leswick's shot hit Montreal defenseman Doug Harvey's glove and went into the net at 4:20 of overtime to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 win in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals over the Montreal Canadiens. No seventh game of a Final series has gone to overtime since.

  • April 23, 1964 – Bobby Baun of the Toronto Maple Leafs nets a game winner against Detroit 1:43 into overtime in Game 6 of the Finals to tie the series 3-3. The goal is notable because Baun had broken his ankle earlier in the game. It was frozen and taped, and Baun returned to the ice to score the winning goal.

  • May 10, 1970 – One of the most indelible moments in sports history is the sight of Bobby Orr's "in flight" goal that gave the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win and a four game sweep of the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals.

  • May 24, 1980 – Bob Nystrom of the New York Islanders scores the Stanley Cup clinching goal at 7:11 of overtime, eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games.

  • April 10, 1982 – "Miracle on Manchester" – Rookie Daryl Evans gives the Los Angeles Kings a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers at 2:35 of overtime. The Kings trailed the Oilers 5-0 after the second period of Game 3 of the Smythe Division Semifinals. This still remains the largest single game playoff comeback in NHL history.

  • May 12, 1986 – Doug Wickenheiser's overtime goal gives the St. Louis Blues a 6-5 win over the Calgary Flames in Game 6 of the Campbell Conference Finals. The goal, known as the "Monday Night Miracle", capped a 5-2 comeback, made all the more impressive that all four comeback goals were scored in the last ten minutes of the third period.

  • May 15, 1990 – After hardly playing in overtime, Petr Klima came off the bench late in triple overtime and scored almost immediately to end the longest overtime in NHL Finals history. The goal gave the Edmonton Oilers a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, setting the stage for the Oilers' fifth cup in seven years.

  • April 24, 1993 – In Game 4 of the Stanley Cup division semifinals between the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins, Sabres forward Brad May scores in overtime to give Buffalo a 6-5 win and sweep the Bruins in the series, 4 games to 0. Due to Buffalo commentator Rick Jeanneret's colorful play call when May scored, this game has been forever referred to in Buffalo as "May Day."

  • 1993 – After losing in overtime of game 1 of the Adams division semi-final to the Quebec Nordiques, the Montreal Canadiens go on to win 10 consecutive overtime games on route to winning the Stanley Cup. They would score another OT winner the following year against the Boston Bruins, making it 11 straight playoff overtime wins.

  • April 30, 1994 – Pavel Bure scores 2:20 into the second overtime of the seventh game of the opening round of Vancouver's playoff series with Calgary. The win gave the Vancouver Canucks three consecutive overtime wins over the favored Calgary Flames, who squandered a 3-1 series lead.

  • May 27, 1994 – Stephane Matteau ends the Eastern Conference Finals with a wrap-around goal on New Jersey's rookie goaltender Martin Brodeur. It was Matteau's second overtime goal of the series and propelled the New York Rangers to their first Finals appearance in fifteen years (which they would win, breaking the so-called Rangers Curse).

  • June 10, 1996 – Uwe Krupp became the 12th player in NHL history to end the Stanley Cup Finals in overtime, scoring a goal at 4:31 of the third overtime, giving the Colorado Avalanche a 1-0 win and a sweep of the Florida Panthers.

  • April 29, 1997 – In game 7 of the first round matchup, Buffalo Sabres Centre Derek Plante rips a shot past Ottawa Senators goaltender Ron Tugnutt just 5:24 into overtime for a 3-2 win and propels the Sabres into the 2nd round of the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

  • April 11, 2007 – Roberto Luongo, goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks, plays and wins his first career playoff game while making 72 saves, one shy of Kelly Hrudey's record; the game would be the 6th longest ever, going into quadruple overtime. Henrik Sedin scored the winning goal.

  • March 22, 2008 – Philip Gogulla of the Cologne Sharks ends the longest German hockey game ever and the second longest worldwide, scoring the ninth overall goal in a 5:4 victory over the Mannheim Eagles. The goal came 8:16 into the sixth overtime period for a total of 108:16 of overtime. It was the third quarterfinal game (best of seven) in the KölnArenamarker in Cologne in front of an audience of 17.000. The game began at 5:30pm and ended at 12:15am.

  • May 4, 2008 – Brenden Morrow scores on San Jose Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov at 9:03 of the 4th overtime period in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals series between the Sharks and Stars. The game saw an incredible goaltending duel as Nabokov made 53 saves in the loss while Marty Turco of Dallas made 61 saves for the win.

Longest NHL overtime games

This is a list of the twenty longest National Hockey League (NHL) overtime games.
Overtime Overtime length Away Team Score Home Team Date Scorer
1. 6th 116:30 Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Maroons March 24 1936 Mud Bruneteau
2. 6th 104:46 Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs April 3 1933 Ken Doraty
3. 5th 92:01 Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins May 4 2000 Keith Primeau
4. 5th 80:48 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Dallas Stars April 24 2003 Petr Sýkora
5. 4th 79:15 Pittsburgh Penguins
Washington Capitals April 24 1996 Petr Nedved
6. 4th 78:06 Dallas Stars
Vancouver Canucks April 11 2007 Henrik Sedin
7. 4th 70:18 Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings March 23 1943 Jack McLean
8. 4th 69:03 San Jose Sharks
Dallas Stars May 4 2008 Brenden Morrow
9. 4th 68:52 New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens March 28 1930 Gus Rivers
10. 4th 68:47 New York Islanders
Washington Capitals April 18 1987 Pat LaFontaine
11. 4th 65:43 New Jersey Devils
Buffalo Sabres April 27 1994 Dave Hannan
12. 4th 61:09 Montreal Canadiens
Detroit Red Wings March 27 1951 Maurice Richard
13. 4th 60:40 New York Americans
New York Rangers March 27 1938 Lorne Carr
14. 3rd 59:32 New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens March 26 1932 Fred Cook
15. 3rd 59:25 Boston Bruins
New York Rangers March 21 1939 Mel Hill
16. 3rd 57:34 Dallas Stars
Edmonton Oilers April 27 1999 Joe Nieuwendyk
17. 3rd 55:13 Edmonton Oilers
Boston Bruins May 15 1990 Petr Klima*
18. 3rd 54:51 Dallas Stars
Buffalo Sabres June 19 1999 Brett Hull**
19. 3rd 54:47 Detroit Red Wings
Carolina Hurricanes June 8 2002 Igor Larionov*
20. 3rd 53:54 Philadelphia Flyers
Toronto Maple Leafs April 16 2003 Mark Recchi

*''Stanley Cup Finals game'' :**''Stanley Cup winning goal'' ===Notable minor league, college and junior overtimes=== ====AHL==== This is a list of the longest [[American Hockey League]] (AHL) overtime games. The longest game in AHL history was Game 5 of the 2008 East Division Semifinals on April 24, 2008. The [[Philadelphia Phantoms]] beat the [[Albany River Rats]], 3-2, at [[Times Union Center]] on a goal by [[Ryan Potulny]] at 2:58 of the fifth 20-minute overtime period. [[Scott Munroe]] was the winning goaltender for the Phantoms, making 65 saves. [[Michael Leighton]] was the losing goaltender for the River Rats despite making 98 saves. {| border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0" class="wikitable" |- ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" colspan="2"| Overtime Length
(min:sec) ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Away Team ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Score ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Home Team ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Date |- |1. || 82:58 || '''[[Philadelphia Phantoms]]''' || 3–2 || [[Albany River Rats]] || April 24, 2008 |- |2. || 74:56** || [[Houston Aeros]] || 1–2 || '''[[Hamilton Bulldogs]]''' || May 30, 2003 |- |3. || 74:08 || [[Rochester Americans]] || 2–3 || '''[[New Haven Nighthawks]]''' || April 10, 1982 |- |4. || 62:42 || '''[[Syracuse Stars]]''' || 3–2 || [[Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)|Cleveland Barons]] || April 4, 1938 |- |5. || 61:46 || [[Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)|Cleveland Barons]] || 2–3 || '''[[Pittsburgh Hornets]]''' || April 14, 1953 |- |6. || 59:47 || [[Providence Reds]] || 2–3 || '''[[Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)|Cleveland Barons]]''' || March 28, 1939 |- |7. || 55:50 || [[Hershey Bears]] || 3–4 || '''[[Adirondack Red Wings]]''' || May 17, 1986 |- |8. || 53:02 || '''[[Philadelphia Phantoms]]''' || 2–1 || [[Norfolk Admirals]] || April 28, 2004 |- |9. || 52:26 || [[Binghamton Senators]] || 2–3 || '''[[Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins]]''' || April 25, 2005 |- |10. || 50:16 || '''[[Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)|Cleveland Barons]]''' || 4–3 || [[Springfield Indians]] || April 4, 1962 |- |11. || 47:49 || [[Worcester IceCats]] || 3–4 || '''[[Hartford Wolf Pack]]''' || May 5, 2004 |- |12. || 46:15 || '''[[Pittsburgh Hornets]]''' || 2–1 || [[Springfield Indians]] || March 22, 1941 |- |13. || 46:06 || [[Maine Mariners]] || 3–4 || '''[[Moncton Golden Flames]]''' || April 18, 1986 |- |14. || 46:00 || '''[[Worcester IceCats]]''' || 3–2 || [[Manchester Monarchs]] || April 22, 2004 |- |15. || 45:17* || '''[[Nova Scotia Voyageurs]]''' || 4–3 || [[Maine Mariners]] || April 11, 1985 |- |16. || 44:48** || [[Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)|Cleveland Barons]] || 4–5 || '''[[Philadelphia Ramblers]]''' || April 4, 1939 |- |17. || 44:30 || '''[[Pittsburgh Hornets]]''' || 3–2 || [[Hershey Bears]] || March 31, 1951 |- |18. || 44:18 || [[Baltimore Clippers]] || 3–4 || '''[[Rochester Americans]]''' || April 16, 1967 |- |19. || 44:02 || [[Pittsburgh Hornets]] || 2–3 || '''[[Cleveland Barons (1937–1973)|Cleveland Barons]]''' || April 3, 1956 |- |20. || 42:55 || '''[[Philadelphia Ramblers]]''' || 3–2 || [[New Haven Eagles]] || March 31, 1938 |} :*''Overtime format was one five-minute period followed by 20-minute periods'' :**''Calder Cup Finals game'' ====CIS–OUA Men==== York Lions and Lakehead Thunderwolves went to a fourth overtime (50:47 minutes of Overtime) on February 15, 2007 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. to decide a winner in OUA men's playoff hockey action. Lakehead won the game at the 13-second mark of the fourth overtime period when Michael Wehrstedt beat Lions goaltender Kevin Druce with the winner in a 3-2 marathon. Both goaltenders shone for their teams, as Druce made a remarkable 82 saves, while Chris Whitley made 54 for Lakehead. ====ECHL==== An April 10, 2009 game between the Elmira Jackals and Trenton Devils lasted 66:10 of overtime, with the Jackals winning, 5-4. {| border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0" class="wikitable" |- ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" colspan="2"| Overtime Length
(min:sec) ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Away Team ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Score ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Home Team ! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Date |- |1. || 66:10 || '''[[Elmira Jackals]]''' || 5–4 || [[Trenton Devils]] || April 10, 2009 |- |2. || 61:24 || [[Louisiana IceGators (ECHL)|Louisiana IceGators]] || 2–3 || '''[[Greenville Grrrowl]]''' || May 5, 2000 |- |3. || 55:19 || '''[[Jackson Bandits]]''' || 5–4 || [[Louisiana IceGators (ECHL)|Louisiana IceGators]] || April 5, 2002 |- |4. || 53:30 || [[Las Vegas Wranglers]] || 3–4 || '''[[Alaska Aces (ECHL)|Alaska Aces]]''' || May 2, 2006 |- |5. || 50:37 || [[South Carolina Stingrays]] || 3–4 || '''[[Mississippi Sea Wolves]]''' || April 13, 1999 |- |6. || 46:30 || [[Mississippi Sea Wolves]] || 3–4 || '''[[Pee Dee Pride]]''' || May 2, 1999 |- |7. || 46:23 || '''[[Utah Grizzlies]]''' || 4–3 || [[Fresno Falcons]] || April 14, 2008 |- |8. || 45:47 || '''[[Hampton Roads Admirals]]''' || 2–1 || [[Greensboro Monarchs]] || April 9, 1991* |- |9. || 43:39 || '''[[Hampton Roads Admirals]]''' || 4–3 || '''[[Wheeling Nailers]]''' || April 2, 1997 |- |10. || 41:31 || [[Roanoke Express]] || 3–4 || '''[[Hampton Roads Admirals]]''' || April 22, 1998 |- |} * Championship Series game.


The longest game in NCAA hockey history was played on March 5, 2006. Yale Universitymarker defeated Union Collegemarker, 3-2, in the ECAC Hockey League first-round playoff game after 81:35 of overtime. David Meckler scored the winning goal with Yale shorthanded.

A 2000 NCAA regional final in men's ice hockey between St. Lawrence University and Boston University ended with 63:53 of overtime.

Union Collegemarker also played in the longest game in small college hockey history. On March 16, 1984, Union defeated the Rochester Institute of Technologymarker 5-4 after 33:26 of overtime (college OT periods at that time were 10 minutes each). Gill Egan scored the winning goal for Union, which lost the next night to Babson Collegemarker in the National Championship game.

A March 8, 1997 game between Colorado College and the University of Wisconsin–Madisonmarker ended with Colorado College winning, 1-0, after 69:30.

A March 14, 2003 ECAC Quarterfinal game between Colgate Universitymarker and Dartmouth ended, 4-3 for Colgate, after 61:05 in overtime.

In March 2006, the Wisconsin Badgers beat the Cornell Big Red 1-0 at 11:13 into the third overtime at the Midwest Regional Final in the NCAA Tournament at the Resch Centermarker in Green Baymarker. It was the second-longest NCAA Tournament game in its history and the longest 1-0 game in tournament history. It is currently the sixth-longest game all-time in NCAA Division I history.

A March 11, 2007 game between St. Cloud State Universitymarker and University of Minnesota-Duluthmarker during the first round of the WCHA playoffs ended with SCSU winning, 3-2, after 51:33 of overtime. It is the fifth-longest NCAA Division I game in history.

In the first round of the 2008 WCHA hockey tournament featuring the 4th seeded Minnesota State University, Mankatomarker Mavericks hosting the 7th seeded University of Minnesotamarker Golden Gophers, the Friday and Sunday games both went into double overtime, and the Saturday night game went into one overtime. The Gophers prevailed 2 games to 1 in the series, winning Saturday and Sunday.

Shots:Per 1:Lakehead 11 York 9Per. 2:Lakehead 17 York 12Per 3:Lakehead 21 York 9OT1 (10 Minute):York: 6 Lakehead 2OT 2 (20 Minute):York 14 Lakehead 13OT3 (20 Minute):Lakehead 22 York 6OT4Lakehead 1 York 0Total:Lakehead 87 York 56

NCAA Women

On March 10, 1996, New Hampshire defeated Providence, 3-2, in an ECAC Women's Championship game after 85:35 of overtime.


On February 10, 2007, the Toronto Jr. Canadiens defeated the Pickering Panthers, 4-3, to take a 2-0 series lead in the first round of the OPJHL playoffs, after 104:32 of overtime. It is the longest game ever played sanctioned by Hockey Canada.

High School

Marquette vs Orchard Lake St Marys went eight overtimes during the Michigan State Ice Hockey Division 1 Championship game before Tournament officials stopped the game in consideration of the health and welfare of the players on March 8, 2008. The 1-1 tie resulted in the two teams being declared co-champions. The game lasted 109 minutes. Ryan Morley Stockton of St. Mary's had a MHSAA-record 58 saves.

The longest game in high school history was in a 1998 FCIAC quarterfinal matchup in Darien, CTmarker between archrivals Wilton and Ridgefield that went to 10 8-minute overtime periods after 45 minutes of regulation (125:00 of hockey). Chris Ludwig of Wilton scored the game-winner while being hauled down in front of the Ridgefield net in the 10th extra frame.

The previous record belong to the Aurora High School-Solon High School game in which Aurora won in the 8th overtime of the Ohio state playoffs. The winning goal was scored with 3:52 left in the 8th overtime (105th minute), setting an American record.

See also


  • The National Hockey League Official Guide and Record Book
  • Diamond, Dan; (1992), The Official National Hockey League Stanley Cup Centennial Book
  • The American Hockey League Guide & Record Book

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