How Many Games Does the NHL Play in a Season?

The NHL season is a long one, with each team playing 82 regular season games. That’s a lot of hockey! But how does that compare to other professional sports leagues?

82 Regular Season Games

The NHL regular season consists of 82 games for each of the 31 teams in the league. These games are spread out over a span of about six months, from early October to early April. The regular season schedule is released in late August or early September, and each team plays every other team at least twice, home and away. In addition, teams also play some non-conference games.

4 Pre-Season Games

4 Pre-Season Games: All 30 NHL teams play 4 exhibition games.


In order to make the playoffs, a team must first earn enough points in the regular season to place them within the top sixteen teams in the league. The playoff format is a bracket style tournament where the matchups are determined by regular season standings. The higher seeds play the lower seeds and each series is a best of seven games. In order for a team to progress to the next round, they must win four games before their opponent.

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