A situation of play where one team has five skaters on the ice and the other team only has three as a result of taking two consecutive penalties. The team with five skaters is said to have a "two-man advantage" while the team with three skaters is shorthanded by two men.
The situation in a hockey game that has the highest probability for a goal to be scored in its duration is the five on three because of one team being down to three skaters only. In a five on three situation, the team with five skaters will often send out four or five forwards on the ice to make sure to capitalize on the two-man advantage they have by scoring a goal. The team down to three skaters will likely send out one forward (who is good at winning faceoffs) and two defencemen (or sometimes two forwards and one defenceman) and position themselves in an upside down triangle formation to allow better coverage of the other team's point shooters.