How Long are NHL Intermissions? (And Before Overtime)

Hockey fans (and players) know that they go by excruciatingly slowly. The time in between periods is often compared to the last few minutes of a tied soccer match, where two teams are “just passing” before overtime for their respective leagues. But how long are these periods really?

A regular-season game will feature a fifteen-minute-and-a-half-second intermission, according to If the game is on a prime-time television spot, though, you can expect a seventeen-minute interval.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the regularly scheduled intermissions. We all know that there are some exceptions to this, though.

How long is NHL intermission before overtime?

In a hockey game, there are 3 periods of 20 minutes each. After regulation, the teams will play overtime if the game is tied at the end of regulation. The following shows how long an NHL hockey game takes regarding times between periods.

There is a short five-minute interval before a three-on-three-plus goalie 5-minute sudden-death overtime match if the game is tied at the end of regulation during a regular-season game.

An NHL hockey game lasts about three hours if you include the regular-season overtime play.   The game can last up to five hours, depending on how many overtimes are played during the game.

How Long are NHL Intermissions?

Ice hockey is a popular sport, but it is not without its intricacies. The game itself moves very quickly, so much so that even the most ardent fan can miss something important.  That’s why hockey games include intermissions after each period to give fans time to catch up on what they missed and prepare for what is to come next.

All regular-season games in the NHL have an 18-minute intermission. At the end of the first and second periods, there are intermissions. Each additional halftime prior to the overtime period(s) is 15 minutes long during the playoffs. Finally, before regulation overtimes or the shootout, there are no intermissions.

The intermissions are filled with on-screen advertisements and promotions for upcoming events.  They always include an in-arena promotion where fans can submit their name to win prizes like tickets to future games.   

The intermissions also include television commercials and in-arena entertainment.  Sometimes this is a musical group, other times, and it’s a magician or a clown to keep the fans entertained. During intermissions, there are also player appearances when actors from movies or television shows come out to meet fans for photos and autographs.

Why is NHL intermission so long?

The NHL’s intermission is actually 20 minutes long. The ice will be resurfaced using the Zamboni, and the players will be able to review their performance and recuperate before the next period begins.

If you have ever been to a live hockey game, you will notice that intermissions never seem to be short. Why is the NHL so different from other sports in this regard?

  • It has nothing to do with historical values or tradition. The reason for having more extended intermissions is because of TV breaks. Over time, TV breaks have been added, and the intermissions have become longer and longer. 
  • There are breaks for players to go to the locker rooms, for TV commercials, and for video reviews.
  • Ice resurfacing machines used during intermissions take about 15 minutes to clean the ice after every period. That time is also factored into the TV break.
  • If you have ever been in the locker room during intermission, you will notice that players spend a lot of time there as well. The arenas need to have sufficient space for both players and spectators, which means that the rink cannot be too big.
  • Finally, scoring in hockey doesn’t happen that often (especially when both teams are defensive), especially during the regular season, which means fans may get bored of watching the game.

There is more action on the ice during OT and not as many TV breaks.  Furthermore, there are fewer TV breaks during playoff games because of the importance of each game, and more focus is on the live-action.

What Happens if the Game Goes into an Overtime Period in the NHL Playoffs?

An overtime period follows if a playoff game is tied at the end of regulation. In this period, each team will have a chance to score. The team that scores during this time is said to have won the “game-winning goal.” If no one scores in the five-minute overtime period, the teams move on through sudden death situations, in which the first team to score wins.

During sudden death situations, teams must maintain possession of the puck for a set amount of time before they are allowed to take a shot on goal. If no one scores after this, another overtime period is taken until one player scores, and his team wins the game. This continues until either an entire game or the full number of games that were planned for in the series has been played.

Furthermore, You should expect another 15 minutes of a break as the Zamboni properly cleans the ice because that extra time is on top of the third period. The fifteen minutes can also be used to add more commercials before the action begins. For Stanley Cup Playoff games, the 20-minute extra session is the same.

What are the overtime rules for NHL playoffs?

The hockey game is very exciting, but if it becomes very long, it would be even more exciting. I think everyone is interested in this question: “What are the overtime rules for NHL playoffs?”

The regulation playtime in the NHL playoffs is the same as in the regular season. During a regular-season NHL game and a playoff game, there are three 20-minute quarters. Despite the fact that the game is 60 minutes long, the real duration of a game, including intermissions and playtime, may be substantially longer.

Every overtime session is 20 minutes long, with complete intermissions between overtime periods in the Stanley Cup playoffs and all tiebreaker games – teams are at full strength (five skaters, barring penalties), there is no shootout, and each overtime period is 20 minutes long. Between periods, there is a 17-minute interval. Before the next period begins, the players are given a break, a chance to recover in the locker room, and a chance to clean the ice.

What is 2nd intermission in hockey?

In a hockey game, there are between two and four intermissions. Between the first and second periods, there is the first intermission. Between the second and third periods, there is a second interval. If a game is tied, it will go an overtime period. Before the next quarter begins, players can regroup and make changes to their game strategy.

The second intermission is typically used to guide the fans to their seats as well as entertain them with hockey-related skits and lip-syncing contests. In early games, the referee would be required by rule to throw pucks into the stands from center ice at 10-minute intervals.

While this tradition has not been formally abandoned, it is extremely rare and would only be performed with the approval and consent of both teams.

The second intermission can also consist of a 15-minute break in which the team refills all water on ice for play as well as provides any necessary medical attention to injured players if needed. In most cases, the team will also attempt to sell any remaining non-season ticketed inventory, such as single seats and lower-level tickets.

How long is overtime in hockey?

Overtime is a five-on-five game with 20-minute periods that are the same length as a regular session. Because it’s a sudden death game, the first team to score wins because there is no shootout; if the first overtime session finishes without a goal, the game will be rescheduled to the same format as the first overtime.

However, over time goes as long as it has to in the playoffs. It used to be that a team had to win in four 15-minute periods or else on a goal scored by a skater on either side. If neither team were able to score during five 20-minute periods of play, the game would end in a tie, with each team receiving one point in the standings.

The shootout will immediately follow the conclusion of overtime if the game remains tied after overtime and goes directly into a best-of-three series. It is not required that teams change ends for the shootout, so the team that shoots first remains to shoot first throughout all three rounds.

Penalty shots will determine the winner if a game still ends in a tie after five 20-minute sessions. This is where each team sends out five players and alternates taking penalty shots against the opposing goalie until there’s a winner.

What happens after OT in the NHL playoffs?

After overtime, if the score is still knotted, the game advances to a shootout. After three rounds, if the score is tied, the shootout goes to sudden death rounds, in which each team has a chance to win until one team scores, and the other does not.

A shootout is handled slightly differently in the NHL. Each team sends out three skaters at a time to take their best shot on the net. If it’s saved, the other team can counter with any number of players they would like until one team scores, and the other doesn’t.

A coin toss is used to determine which team will take the first shot and if the first shooter scores, that team can choose any player from their roster to follow him. If the first shooter fails, then the opposing side has that option.

Shots can be saved and missed, depending on the goaltender’s skill level and the shooter’s accuracy. This process continues until one team wins, with no order necessary amongst shooters. A team can use all three of their allotted shooters and still lose.

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