What is power play

What is a Power Play in Hockey? (Fully Explained)

There are various terminologies used in sports to refer to or depict certain circumstances. When a team is penalized for breaking a rule, the amount of players on the field of play is temporarily decreased.

The phrase “power play” refers to the edge that the unpenalized team has at this period. When a team is on the power play, specialized tactics and techniques might be used.

In other words:

When at least one opposition player is serving a penalty and the team has a numerical advantage on the ice, the team is considered to be on the power play in ice hockey.

In other words, there is no power play when both teams have the same number of players on the ice. Without the use of replacements, up to two players per team may serve in the penalty box, providing a team a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity.


Minor (two minutes), double-minor (four minutes), and major penalties are the three sorts of infractions that can result in a power play for the non-offending side (five minutes).

The guilty player has been ruled off the ice for such infractions, and no substitution is allowed for the penalized player. When a goalkeeper commits a minor, double-minor, or major penalty, the penalty will be served by another player who was on the ice at the moment of the infraction.

Power Play in Hockey

The Origin of Hockey’s Power Plays

Only one major alteration to the power play rules has occurred in the NHL throughout the years. Jean Béliveau of the Montreal Canadiens scored a hat trick on the same power play during a game during the 1956-57 season.

Beliveau scored three goals in 44 seconds on the power play, which was the consequence of a two-minute minor penalty (source). After a power-play goal against for all minor infractions, teams on the penalty kill have been permitted to return to even strength.

What happens during a power play in hockey?

Once one side earns a penalty, the other team must play shorthanded for at least two minutes. With one penalty, the penalized side must play a 5 on 4 power play against the other team’s five players. Whenever a team receives repeated infractions, they may be forced to play with just three players, giving the other side a 5-on-3 advantage.

One of the most essential points to mention is to put players in locations where they can make the most of their skills. It is crucial in in-zone and breakout scenarios. If you’re going to execute a breakout centered on speed and strong puck movement, you’ll want to start with a good player. Somebody who is intelligent and a strong passer, with speedier players serving as swing players.

Is there icing during a power play?

No, it is not. If a player on a team’s red goal line shoots the puck down the ice and it crosses the red goal line at any position other than the goal, it is called icing.

When teams are at equal strength or on the power play, icing is not permitted. Play is halted and the puck is returned to the opposite end of the ice for a face-off in the offending team’s zone.

Power Play in hockey

What Ends power play?

The power play for a minor, or two-minute penalty, ends when the penalty time is out, the side with the advantage scores, or the game ends. Whenever two players are in the penalty box, only the first player is released if the other side scores.

Whereas if the penalty is a major, or a five-minute penalty, the power play continues until the five minutes are up or the game is over. A huge penalty does not conclude with a goal. Whether it’s a major or minor penalty, when the short-handed side scores a goal, the penalty does not finish.

How does a team get a power play?

Hockey is a high-octane, fast-paced sport. There are things you can and cannot do in any sport. If a player breaches a regulation, the referee will give the guilty player a penalty.

In the situation where one player in hockey receives a penalty, he must go to the penalty box and sit there for the period specified by the penalty. The punishment is usually for two minutes, but for serious offenses, it might be for four, five, or ten minutes.

The most important thing to understand about taking a penalty is when a player walks to the penalty box to serve their penalty for the specified length of time. The team on which he is playing does not have the option of replacing that player on the ice with another member of their squad. They’ll be ‘shorthanded’ on the ice for the duration of the penalty, or until the other team scores.

On the ice, how does a power-play look?

In regular play, two teams will face off at full strength, meaning each side will have their full allocation of skaters, which will be 5 players versus 5 players. When a member of Team A receives a penalty, he or she will be sent to the penalty box.

Typically, a team will now have five skaters on the ice compared to four for team A, resulting in a clear mismatch and scoring possibilities (for Team B). When a team receives many penalties, they no longer lose players until there are only five skaters left against the goalkeeper. 

Multiple players can be sent to the penalty box, but a team can only lose two players on the ice at a time. As a result, a team’s ice time will always be limited to three players.

When it comes to Overtime, how do Power Plays work?

Teams play 3-on-3 during the 5-minute overtime throughout the regular season, as you may know. So, what happens over overtime if a club is given a power play or two? Rather than removing a player from the penalized team during an overtime power play, the favored team would ice an additional man. 

If the team gains a two-man advantage, an additional player will be added. Even if the team was shorthanded, the penalized player would still have to go to the penalty box. The player can return to the ice at even strength if their penalty expires during the play (i.e 4-on-4). The teams will return to 3-on-3 hockey once a whistle signals a halt of play.

The two-man advantage follows the same rules. Additionally, if a side has the man advantage entering overtime, an extra player will be iced for the advantaged ice right away. Finally, when teams play 5-on-5 in overtime during the playoffs, the power play follows the same regulations as it does during the regular season.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *