The NHL made some fundamental changes to become more exciting and fan friendly after the lockout wiped out the 2004-05 season. One of the more noticeable changes was the elimination of ties and the introduction of the shootout to determine a winner if neither team scored a goal in five minutes of overtime.
The theory was that shootouts featured the most exciting moment in hockey: the penalty shot. Teams usually used their most skilled players who got to showcase their talent and try to beat goalies one-on-one with the game on the line.
The winner of the shootout got the win and two points for the game, the losing team still got one point in the standings despite losing the game.
The shootout proved popular with most fans, although thankfully it is not used to determine the winner of playoff games.
Here are the 20 best shootout goals since the league introduced the shootout back in 2005. Keep in mind each player can only appear on the list once.
Since I can't possibly view every shootout goal since 2005, I'm sure I've missed some good ones. Feel free to comment and add some good ones—with links if you have them so we can all watch the excitement.
It may not be the fanciest move, but the Isles Frans Nielsen has a patented backhander that works nearly every time he tries it in shootouts, even though goalies pretty much know it's coming.
Here Nielsen fools Florida's Tomas Vokoun to the stick side on November 14, 2009, in Florida.
Toronto's Jason Blake picked up speed and made a pretty spin-o-rama move to score against the Devils on December 16, 2008.
Sure it was just part of an exhibition, but Alex Ovechkin sure was entertaining during the skills competition at the 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend.
The use of sunglasses and trick shots are just plain fun to watch. Sit back and enjoy.
Sam Gagner's patented move beats the Ducks on this clip. Gagner could have been included several times on this list if I didn't limit players to one appearance each. He is immensely talented but still not as consistent as the Oilers would like him to be.
Patrick Kane shows off his quick hands in this past year's season finale against the Detroit Red Wings. The goalie had no chance.
In 2006, Buffalo's Daniel Briere showed his quick hands with this impressive shootout goal against the Hurricanes.
Here's a nice move by Tampa Bay's small forward Martin St. Louis, who beats Marc-Andre Fleury of the Penguins five-hole on this pretty backhander.
The Wild's Brian Rolston likes to surprise opposing goalies with a quick slap shot when he gets into shootouts. Here he zips one past Detroit's Chris Osgood.
Saku Koivu of Montreal made some nice moves on Toronto's Andrew Raycroft to score in this shootout goal on March 17, 2007.
Here's a tribute to the late Pavol Demitra, who scores this shootout goal on the Atlanta Thrashers on January 2, 2009.
The talented Mr. Kopitar made a great fake and just swept the puck past a stunned Tim Thomas of Boston.
Ryan Getzlaf scores against the Kings to add a little spice to the Ducks-Kings rivalry. Quite a nice move by the Ducks forward to score this goal.
This is the game-winning goal as the Blue Jackets Rick Nash scores against Anaheim with this original move on November 13, 2009.
Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski made a nice spinning move to make St. Louis goalie Ty Conklin look silly on January 6, 2011.
Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard made a very impressive spin-o-rama move against Chicago to score in this shootout on December 5, 2006.
The question as to whether he stopped moving forward (which you're not allowed to do in a shootout) was answered by the referees, who quickly declared the goal a good one.
No list of shootout goals is complete without Jussi Jokinen, a very average player but one of the best in the game at converting shootouts.
Here Jokinen fakes to the left but leaves the puck on the right and slides it past a stunned Bruins goalie in one of his finest moves.
Philadelphia's Claude Giroux holds the puck as long as he can, gets Toronto's Jonas Gustavsson to commit and then lifts the puck over the goalie's pads and just under the crossbar to finish this lovely shootout goal on March 10, 2012.
On April 9, 2009, Dallas Stars forward Mike Ribeiro made a beautiful move to beat Peter Budaj of the Avalanche.
Ribeiro put the puck between his legs on a backhander on one of the prettiest moves seen in the history of the shootout.
Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk dekes and hesitates as long as he can and just leaves a helpless goalie in his wake.
A beautiful goal by Datsyuk against the Nashville Predators.
The move is stunning enough, but if you set the scene, this goal is even more incredible.
This shootout between the Rangers and Capitals had entered the 15th round (still a record) and both teams were running out of players.
Rangers coach Tom Renney called on defenseman Marek Malik, who had never scored more than seven goals in any NHL season during his career.
Malik used a trick shot that he had tried in practice and beat Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig to clinch the victory for the Rangers.
Malik's reaction is also priceless as he poses heroically as if the outcome was never in doubt.