Here is all you should know about how much overtime is allowed in the NHL and also the longest overtime game in history.

In the NHL, how much overtime is allowed? Which game in NHL history has had the longest overtime period?

Facts about NHL

League NameNational Hockey League (NHL)
Year Founded1917
Number of Teams32 (24 in the United States, 7 in Canada, 1 in Seattle, WA)
ConferenceEastern Conference, Western Conference
DivisionsAtlantic, Metropolitan (Eastern Conference)
Central, Pacific (Western Conference)
Regular SeasonOctober to April
Regular Season Games82 games per team
Stanley Cup PlayoffsBest-of-seven elimination tournament
Notable TrophiesStanley Cup, Presidents’ Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy
Notable AwardsHart Memorial Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Calder Memorial Trophy
Vezina Trophy, Norris Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy
Ted Lindsay Award, Maurice Richard Trophy
Notable RivalriesMontreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators
Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Notable EventsWinter Classic, All-Star Game, Stadium Series
International TournamentsWinter Olympics, World Cup of Hockey

The league is divided into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, and each conference is further divided into divisions.

The NHL season typically runs from October to April, with each team playing 82 regular-season games. The top teams from each division, along with two wild-card teams from each conference, advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which is a best-of-seven elimination tournament to determine the league champion. The playoffs are known for their intensity and physicality, making it one of the most exciting postseasons in professional sports.

Throughout its history, the NHL has been home to some of the greatest players in the sport. From legendary names like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Bobby Orr to modern-day superstars such as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and Connor McDavid, the league showcases immense skill, speed, and athleticism. The NHL has also seen its fair share of rivalries, including the historic matchups between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, and the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.


In addition to the regular season and playoffs, the NHL also hosts several notable events. The Winter Classic is an annual outdoor game held on New Year’s Day, featuring teams playing in iconic outdoor venues. The All-Star Game brings together the league’s top players for a showcase event, complete with skills competitions and a game. Furthermore, the NHL participates in international tournaments such as the Winter Olympics and the World Cup of Hockey, allowing players to represent their countries on the grand stage.

Off the ice, the NHL is actively involved in various community and charitable initiatives. The league promotes youth hockey development programs, supports grassroots initiatives, and raises awareness for important social causes. Through the NHL Foundation, the league and its players have donated millions of dollars to charitable organizations.

With a rich history, a passionate fanbase, and a commitment to the growth of the sport, the NHL continues to captivate audiences around the world with its thrilling action on the ice and its impact off the ice.

How much overtime is allowed in the NHL?

In the NHL playoffs, there is no limit to the number of overtime periods that can be played. The sudden-death overtime format continues until one team scores a goal, resulting in an immediate victory for that team. Each overtime period in the playoffs lasts 20 minutes.


In the NHL regular season, the rules for overtime differ. If a game is tied after three periods, a five-minute sudden-death overtime period is played. However, if no goals are scored during this initial overtime period, the game proceeds to a shootout. Each team selects three players to take penalty shots, and if the score remains tied after the shootout, additional rounds are played until there is a winner.

The longest overtime happened on March 24, 1936, in a match between Detroit Red Wings versus the Montreal Maroons.

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