Olympic hockey and NHL hockey are similar, but have some important distinctions that affect how they are played.
Olympic hockey follows the regulations of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), while the NHL has its own set of rules. There are dozens of differences between the two, most having to do with slight variations of how penalties are assessed.
But there are also much more significant distinctions that are visible to even casual hockey fans - including differences in the size of the rink and the complete ban on fighting in Olympic hockey.
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Shootouts can decide games
In the NHL, shootouts can only decide regular-season games; playoff games tied after regulation end in sudden-death overtime. Under IIHF regulations, Olympic hockey games that end regulation tied go to a 10-minute sudden death overtime after which, if the neither team has scored, the game goes to a decisive shootout, just as Sweden defeated Canada in a shootout to secure gold medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics.