how long does an nhl game last

how long does an nhl game last

How Long Does an NHL Game Last?

Ice hockey is one of the most beloved sports in North America. It is watched, played, and enjoyed by millions of people around the world. One of the most popular ice hockey leagues is the National Hockey League (NHL), where teams from Canada and the United States battle it out for the ultimate championship. But how long do NHL games last?

NHL Game Length

The officially-designated length for each NHL game is sixty minutes, which is split into three 20-minute periods of playing time, with a 17-minute intermission between each one. This includes waiting times for goals, injuries, fights, etc. In total, including all pregame warmups and the time needed for the teams to get on and off the ice, a single game of NHL ice hockey can last anywhere from two to three hours.

Round-Up Time

In addition to the three 18-minute periods, the NHL also has a “round-up time” of one minute before the period ends. This is designed to ensure that any play that goes into overtime will end in the same period it started in. If a player takes a shot in the last minute of the period, the clock will be stopped, and the action will usually continue until the play concludes.


Should the teams finish the game in a draw at the end of the third period, they will enter an extra period known as overtime. This lasts either five minutes or the amount of time it takes the first team to score. After that, there is a brief break before the winner is declared. As you can see, there are several factors that affect the overall length of an NHL hockey game.


In conclusion, the length of an NHL game can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Normally, games will last for around two to three hours, but overtime can add up to another 20 minutes of intense competition. Regardless, NHL games have the potential to deliver some truly remarkable viewing experiences.



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