Activities Sports & Athletics How Does the NHL Break a Tie in the NHL Standings? Share PINTEREST Email Print Sports & Athletics Ice Hockey Basics Best of Ice Hockey Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Jamie Fitzpatrick Updated March 18, 2017 Question: How Does the NHL Break a Tie in the NHL Standings? Answer: The NHL standings are determined by total points, with the teams ranked in two conferences. If two or more teams are tied in total points, the tie is broken using the following criteria, in order: Games Played: While the season is in progress, the team with the fewest games played among the tied teams. Wins: Most total wins among the tied teams, excluding games won in the shootout. Head-to-Head Record: Most points in games against each other among the tied teams. Goal Differential: Using the total goals scored during the regular season, the greater positive differential between goals for and against among the tied teams. See Also: How to Read the NHL Standings.