97 — The number of goals the Buffalo Sabres have scored this season, by far the lowest in the NHL. Second to lowest is Calgary, at 119. (Chicago has scored 190 to lead the league.) That said, the Sabres’ offense has been much improved lately. They’ve scored 20 goals in their last six games, including five in Saturday’s 5-2 victory at Columbus.
0 — The number of times Chicago, St. Louis, Anaheim, and Colorado have been shut out. Meanwhile, Nashville’s been blanked a league-high seven times. The Blackhawks were also one of three teams (Boston and Pittsburgh were the two others) to avoid being shut out last season. The last time they failed to score at least one goal in a regular-season game was Feb. 25, 2012, in a 4-0 loss in L.A.
7-4-4 — The Islanders’ record when leading after two periods, giving them by far the worst winning percentage (.467) in that situation. New York blew another second-intermission lead Saturday versus the Blues, when T.J. Oshie tied the game 3-3 in the last minute and St. Louis went on to win in the shootout. Granted, the Isles believed they should have won in overtime, but it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if they’d have been able to lock it down in the first place. (Related: Islanders would love to stop blowing 2-0 leads)
215 — The number of times the Flyers have been shorthanded. Yep, the most in the NHL. The Bruins scored three power-play goals in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Philly, further highlighting a problem that Craig Berube has been harping on since taking over behind the Flyers’ bench. Whether it’s a lack of discipline or team speed that’s leading to all those penalties is up for debate. That all those penalties is hurting them is not. Even with the 10th-ranked penalty kill (83.3%), the Flyers have surrendered 36 power-play goals, tied for seventh most in the league.
48.9% — The Ducks’ faceoff percentage, ranking them 21st in the NHL. Perhaps somewhat surprising considering Anaheim’s spot atop the standings, but as we’ve noted in the past, not all winning teams are winners in the faceoff circle. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year with a 46.8% win rate in the playoffs. The Kings won it the year before at 49.7%. It’s one of those things where you’d love to be above 50 percent, but it’s not as important as it’s sometimes made out to be.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.