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What is Intermission?

The extended break in gameplay between the end of one period and the beginning of the following period. There are always at least two intermissions during a NHL hockey game: between the 1st and 2nd periods, and between the 2nd and 3rd periods. An intermission in an NHL game lasts 17 minutes. During an intermission, teams retreat to their respective locker rooms.

Sporting Charts explains Intermission

A playoff hockey game will have more than two intermissions if the game still does not have a winner after three periods of play. In an NHL playoff game, each additional overtime period is 20 minutes long, equivalent to the standard allotted time for a period in hockey. Therefore, there will be a full-length intermission between regular game periods and overtime periods as well.

For example, if a playoff game ends in double overtime, the game will have had a total of four intermissions: between the 1st and 2nd periods, between the 2nd and 3rd periods, between the 3rd period and the 1st overtime, and between the 1st and 2nd overtime periods.

In the regular season, only one 5-minute overtime period is played if the game is tied after regulation, and if necessary the game will go to a penalty shootout after that. Therefore, there are no intermissions between regular game periods and overtime periods during regular season games. During an intermission, the Zamboni (ice resurfacing vehicle) will come out to clean the ice and prepare it for the next period of play, while spectators attending the hockey game usually go to buy food or drinks and are shown advertisements and entertainment videos while they wait for the game to resume.   

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