(Reuters) - Overtime play in the National Hockey League could become three on three from next season, the NHL said on Tuesday after a vote by their general managers.
The NHL's Board of Governors will need to approve the vote on Wednesday before the change is made official. Under the proposed rule, overtime would still remain five minutes and a shootout would still take place if neither team scored.
Reducing the number of players to three per team is expected to decrease the number of games decided by shootouts.
Last season 170 games were decided by a shootout, which was introduced in the 2005-06 season.
"We felt almost unanimous that we would like to have more games ended in overtime versus the shootout," Nashville Predators general manager David Poile told reporters.
"This could be very exciting. It's another tweak to the game that could be very fan friendly." The NHL Board are also to review a recommendation to allow coaches to challenge goalie interference calls and offside goals.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury