Hockey - Game Time
Hockey is divided into three 20-minute periods, which make up ‘regulation time’. There is a 17 minute intermission between each period. If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, a five-minute overtime period is played.
The overtime period is sudden death, meaning that the first team to score a goal wins the game. A goalie, two defensemen, a center and two forwards from each team are generally found on the ice during regulation time, with the exception of penalty time. Overtime hockey is played three on three. If neither team has scored at the end of the overtime period, a shootout occurs.
In a shootout, three players from each team take alternating penalty shots against the opposing goaltender. If still tied after three shots per team, 'sudden-death' shots will be taken to reach a decision. Shootouts do not occur in playoff games. Twenty-minute overtime periods take place instead. These periods are sudden death. In NHL history, the longest overtime game reached six overtime periods.
Points are recorded to determine league standings in the NHL. The winner of regulation time, overtime, or the shootout is awarded two points. The loser of a game of regulation time length is awarded zero points. However, if a team loses in overtime or the shootout, it is awarded one point. In shootouts, goals are awarded to the team and are not recorded as part of an individual player's statistics. Players earn one point for making a goal. If another player on the team touched the puck to help score the goal before the goal-scoring player touched it (without an opposing player touching the puck in between), then that player gets an ‘assist’. If a second player on the goal-scoring team also touched the puck before that without an opposing player intervening, then that player also gets an assist. Players earn one point for an assist. Up to 3 points can be awarded per goal, with no player receiving more than 1 point.