Regular-season games that are tied at the conclusion of overtime will be decided by a shootout round beginning in 2005-06, the National Hockey League announced today.
The new shootout rule guarantees a winner each game; ties have been eliminated. If a game remains tied after the five-minute, four-on-four overtime period, the teams will engage in a shootout, in which three skaters aside 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.
The League will award two points to a team that wins in regulation, overtime or the shootout; one point to a team that loses in overtime or the shootout; and no points to a team that loses in regulation.
Penalty shots have been used by the International Ice Hockey Federation to decide deadlocked games at the World Championships and Winter Olympic Games since 1992. The NHL has had a shootout rule in effect to determine the winner of its All-Star Game since 1994 but only has been required once, when the Western Conference broke a 5-5 tie by outscoring the East 3-1 in penalty shots on Feb. 2, 2003 at Sunrise, Fla.
RECENT TIE-GAME STATISTICS
National Hockey League - Fourteen per cent of all NHL regular-season games in the 2003-04 regular season ended in a tie (170 games of 1,230).
American Hockey League - In the 2004-05 AHL regular season, the first that included a shootout round following overtime to determine a winner, 12% of the games extended to the shootout round (138 games of 1,120).
RECENT PENALTY-SHOT STATISTICS
National Hockey League - Players scored on 32% of their penalty shot attempts in the 2003-04 NHL regular season (18 goals on 57 attempts).
American Hockey League - In the 2004-05 AHL regular season, the success rate in the shootout round was 31% (471 goals on 1,498 attempts).