TAMPA, FL – MAY 20: Nikita Kucherov #86 of the Tampa Bay Lightning shoots the puck in overtime against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 20, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

NHL has instructed teams to play 3-on-3 hockey in preseason even if games aren’t tied

The NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime format begins this season and the league wants to make sure teams are ready for the change. In order to make sure teams have a chance to practice the concept in a competitive setting, the NHL has instructed all of their teams to play 3-on-3 hockey at least three times during their preseason schedule – even if the game isn’t tied.

It’s not clear how the teams will decide whether or not to shift to 3-on-3 play during a game, but it’s going to provide fans an early opportunity to see how open and exciting the new format will be. We’ll likely see teams return to action after the third period regardless of the final score and skate for a few minutes to get a better feel of 3-on-3.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see many teams – if not all teams – opt to play some 3-on-3 hockey in every preseason game on their schedule as opposed to just the league’s suggested three times. Practicing 3-on-3 in training camp will likely reveal a lot to teams, but you can’t compare training camp action to real competition. Strategies which might work in training camp may prove disastrous under real-game situations.

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.