2024 NHL Playoff Overtime Rules: Do Shootouts Occur in Stanley Cup Playoffs?

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs feature continuous, sudden-death overtime until a goal is scored, differing from the regular season’s three-on-three and shootout formats, to ensure a more traditional and fair determination of winners in postseason games.

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are heating up, promising some edge-of-your-seat overtime action. But, it’s a tad different than the regular season. Think Energizer Bunny—NHL playoff overtime doesn’t stop until someone nets a goal.

Maybe you’re new to this whole playoff hockey vibe. Wondering where the three-on-three overtime and shootouts scampered off to? Those were the regular season’s thrill, making games beyond regulation a dramatic spectacle.

Yet, as electrifying as a shooter vs. goalie face-off can be, it’s not quite the fit for deciding who takes home the Stanley Cup. Imagine giving your all—blood, sweat, and the occasional tear—only to have it all hinge on a skills contest.

And let’s chat about the three-on-three overtime. A fan favorite since its 2015-16 season debut, sure. But for the playoffs? It’s a bit too gimmicky.

So, the NHL sticks to its guns with a more traditional approach for playoff overtime. Here’s the lowdown: it’s pretty straightforward. Teams keep at it with five skaters and a goalie each, piling 20-minute periods on top of the regular 60 minutes. The twist? Sudden death. First goal wins.

This format can lead to some epic marathons. Playoff games stretching into two, three, or more overtime periods aren’t out of the ordinary. Picture this: during breaks, players are chugging Gatorade and munching on orange slices like it’s a Saturday morning soccer game.

And yes, there have been marathons. Games dragging through four, five, even six overtime periods aren’t just myths.

Ever wondered if the Stanley Cup has been clinched with an OT goal? Absolutely. It’s happened 17 times. The first was way back in 1933, with Bill Cook of the New York Rangers sealing the deal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The latest instance? Ten years ago, when Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings became a legend against the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Here’s hoping the 2024 Final brings us that level of nail-biting excitement, marking a decade since Martinez’s legendary shot.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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