How Olympic hockey is different than NHL

How Olympic hockey is different than NHL
February 11, 2014, 5:00 pm
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Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Capitals beat the Sabres 4-3 in a shootout.

(Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

OK, so we all know the Olympic ice in Sochi is 10 feet longer and 13 feet wider than the NHL rinks in North America.

But what are some other differences between Olympic rules and NHL rules?

Fighting: No five-minute majors in Sochi. You drop the gloves, you get ejected.

No-touch icing. In an effort to avoid injuries, if a defensemen beats a forward to the top of the defensive faceoff circle while chasing down a puck, it’s an automatic icing.

Deciding tie games: In the NHL it’s five minutes of 4-on-4 before heading to a shootout. In the Olympics it’s 10 minutes of 5-on-5 before heading to a shootout.

Roster size: Instead of 18 skaters and a goalie, Olympic teams can dress 20 skaters and two goalies, which means an extra forward and an extra defenseman every night. That also means 22 of the 25 players on the roster will play each game.

Penalty shots: If a penalty shot is called, any player on the team can take the free shot. Puckhandling goalies: Unlike the NHL, where they need to stay within a trapezoid, Olympic goalies can roam anywhere behind the goal line to handle the puck.

Three-second violation: Forwards in the NHL can park themselves in the goalie crease. Not in the Olympics. If an opposing player is stationary in the goalie crease, the whistle is blown and the faceoff comes out of the offensive zone.

Keep the lid on: Unlike the NHL, if a player loses his helmet during play in the Olympics, play is stopped. Also, all players born after Dec. 31, 1974 must wear a visor.

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