Below let's go over how NHL playoff hockey is different then the regular season.
1) There are still 3 periods and each period is 20 minutes. In the regular season however if a game is tied at the end of the 3rd the game goes in a quick 5 minute, 3 on 3 OT, with a shootout if need be. Not in the playoffs though, if overtime is required, a full 17 minute intermission happens and then a 20 minute period of 5 on 5 until there is a goal. It is still sudden death meaning 1st goal wins and ends the game.
2) Travel. Teams travel in the finals. Home ice advantage is based on which ever team had a better regular season record. Pittsburgh finished 48-26-8 while San Jose finished 46-30-6 (wins-loses-OT losses). Games 1 and 2 will be in Pittsburgh, 3 and 4 in San Jose, 5* in Pittsburgh, 6* in San Jose, and 7* back to Pittsburgh (*If required).
3) This next little fun fact isn't an official rule but you notice it. There is almost no fighting in the final round. No player wants to take a bad penalty and have his team on the penalty kill while he sits in the sin bin. What you will see is a lot and I mean a lot more hitting. Keep in mind hitting is allowed in hockey, there is such a thing as a clean shoulder or hip check. Personally what I don't like to see is a cheap shots that knocks a player out of game or to the dressing room with an injury.
Below are a few facts about the San Jose Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins for reference during games!
Fun Facts on the San Jose Sharks
Current Captain American Hot Shot Joe Pavelski
Number of previous Cups won by the Sharks: 0
Trips to the Final Round; This is the team's first time!
Lifers with the Team: Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton
Patrick Marleau was drafted by the team in 1997. He has played his entire NHL career in San Jose. He has played 1411 regular season games and 166 playoff games.
Big Joe Thornton was also drafted in 1997 but by the Boston Bruins. He played with the Bruins until the 2005-06 season before being traded to the San Jose Sharks. He has played 1367 regular season games and 151 playoff games.
Fun Facts on the Pittsburgh Penguins
Current Captain Canadian Hot Shot Sidney Crosby
Number of previous Cups won by the Penguins: 3, most recently in 2009
Trips to the Final Round: 5
Lifers with the Team: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin
Sidney Crosby was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005, 1st overall in what was nicknamed 'The Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes'. He has played 707 regular season games and 119 playoff games. In 2009 when the team won the Cup, Crosby became the youngest NHL Captain ever to win!
Evgeni Malkin was drafted by the PENS as well in 2004, 2nd overall. His name is also on the 2009 cup playing 644 regular season games and 119 playoff games.
Enjoy Game 2 tonight Hockey Fans! Puck drops at 5:00pm PST. And please enjoy the video below. I found it yesterday while doing research…. who knew Tom Cruise once lived in Canada and played hockey on outside rinks! Jimmy Fallon however seems to need some more training!