Tie In Ice Hockey

Can Ice Hockey End In A Tie?

Ice Hockey is such a sport that can make you question a lot about it. Fortunately, we here, cater to all the questions that strike your mind. Here’s another one; Is there a tie in Ice Hockey?

Why not discuss it today, there is more to it than you are expecting. We will be talking about all the instrumental details around this question.

But first, let’s answer it 👊

Is There A Tie In Ice Hockey?

Here’s a plain and simple answer; No, there isn’t a tie in Ice Hockey anymore. Here, by Ice Hockey, we are specifically talking about NHL, as it was the leading Ice Hockey organization that took a step toward making every game decisive without a draw.

In all the official NHL games and the majority of Ice Hockey systems around the globe, there is no concept of tie anymore.

Instead, the Overtimes are there. It’s the additional time to reach to a decisive conclusion of the match after the 3 standard periods of 20 minutes each.

Let’s read about Overtime.

How Does Overtime Work In NHL?

As we stated before, Overtime is the additional time period in Ice Hockey which is to determine the ultimate winner of the game. There is a sudden death goal rule in place when it comes to overtime. Whoever scores the first, wins the game.

But, there are different rules for regular games and Stanley Cup Play-offs in NHL. Here’s how:

Tie In Ice Hockey

Regular Games:

In the regular campaign, the NHL has a rule of 5 minute Overtime. After the third and final period of the game. There are 5 minutes given to score. It is important to mention that the game is played 3-on-3 instead of the standard 5-on-5 games like the conventional periods.

Whoever scores first is declared the winner. If no side scores till the end of 5 minutes. There is a penalty shoot-out. Which we will be discussing in detail later in this article.


There’s a shift in rules when it comes to Stanley Cup Playoffs. After the third period of the game, there is another period of 20 minutes as overtime. And the periods keep adding until one of the teams scores.

There is no shoot-out like regular games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So the teams keep on playing and adding periods after every 20 minutes until one of the sides scores.

The teams are standard 5-on-5 in Play-off Overtime, unlike the regular overtime.

You must be wondering; What is the Longest Playoff game in history? Here it is:

The Longest OT in NHL Play-Offs?

The question arises here. If there is no limit to keep adding the overtime periods in NHL Playoffs. What is the longest playoff game in the history of the NHL?

We will only be looking at the most recent games that have been the longest.

Tie In Ice Hockey

The longest NHL overtime dates back to 1936. It was on 24th March of that year. The match was between the Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Maroons. The overtime went on for almost 6 periods. To be precise, the elapsed time in overtime was 116 minutes and 30 seconds.

It was Mud Bruneteau of Red Wings who scored the winning goal against Normie Smith of Montreal Maroons after such long overtime.

When Did the NHL Eliminate Tie In Ice Hockey?

It isn’t been very long ago since the NHL eliminated the tie from its all-game forms, given the long history of the game.

It was back in 2005/06 when NHL came out with the rule to eliminate the tie in ice hockey. As a result, the shootout was introduced in NHL, so there can be a winner in each game.

In the last season with the tie, there were 14 percent games that ended as a tie.

The Reason

There must be some reason, a key factor that played an instrumental part in eliminating the tie from NHL. What we understand is; that the NHL wants more action!

It was seen before 2005/06 that the teams often opted for a more conservative approach to win the game. As a result, that made the exciting gameplay look lagging and boring for the viewers.

As there’s a shootout in place, the teams go all out on the attack, and it’s thrilling to see both sides giving their all to get the win while the clock ticks away.

Shootout; The Ultimate Solution:

We may have talked about a lot of things today. But, the shootout might be the most important one. This is the method that NHL adopted from the International Ice Hockey federation.

Tie In Ice Hockey

After the 5 minute overtime, and if the game is still tied. The teams go for a shootout.

In the shootout, there’s a goaltender and only one skater going against each other. the skater starts from the centre point in the neutral zone of the Ice rink. And tries to score while Skating towards the goal against the sole goaltender.

Do Youth Leagues Still Have Ties In Ice Hockey?

The quick answer again? No, following the steps taken by NHL, the majority of Ice Hockey systems around the world have also eliminated the tie in Ice Hockey.

For example, the AHL games also never end as a tie anymore. As there is 3-on-3, 5-minute overtime followed by the shootout ultimately. Remember that the overtime does contain the ‘sudden-death’ rule.

In case any teams score first, they are declared winners.


Like always, we have to say goodbye! But it was a time well spent as we got the chance to closely look at the concept of tie in Ice Hockey. Which isn’t there anymore, and we have discussed the relatively new system of overtimes and shootouts in place.

You should definitely check out our Ice Hockey blog here, there are plenty of questions like this one, which are all addressed there. See you again!

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