Stunning numbers: Lightning dominance, surprising offense, and more

During the 2019-20 NHL season we will take an occasional look at some stunning numbers from around the league. Here is what has stood out to us from the four teams participating in the Conference Finals. 

Lightning dominance

1 — The number of times the Tampa Bay Lightning missed the net with a shot attempt in their Game 1 win over the Islanders on Monday night. Over the past 10 years there has only been one other instance where a team missed the net on just one (or less) shot attempts in a playoff game — Tampa against the Canadiens during the 2015-16 playoffs.

2 — The number of goals against that Tampa’s line of Yanni Gourde, Blake Coleman, and Barclay Goodrow has been on the ice for in close to 200 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time this postseason. Not only has that trio completely shut teams down, they have also made a nice contribution offensively and have given the Lightning an elite third line to further balance out an already great lineup. Two of those players, Coleman and Goodrow, were acquired at the trade deadline for future first-round draft picks. Given how well they have played, as well as their cheap contracts for next season (combined salary cap hit of just $2.7 million for the duo) they are looking like outstanding additions.

63% — The percentage of Tampa’s goals (30 out of 47) that at least one of Brayden Point or Nikita Kucherov has been on the ice for this postseason. As a duo, they have been on the ice together for 24 goals, while Kucherov has been on for three goals without Point, and Point has been on for three without Kucherov. No player still playing in the Conference Finals has more points than them, despite the fact Tampa has played in two less games than each of the other three teams.

Where did this Dallas offense come from?

0.60 — The increase in goals per game for the Stars from the regular season to the playoffs. After averaging just 2.58 goals per game during the regular season (26th in the NHL), the Dallas Stars have already averaged 3.18 goals per game in the playoffs, an increase of 0.60 goals per game. More on the Stars’ offensive breakout this postseason here.

27.3% — A big part of that offensive increase has come from the power play, where the Stars enter Game 2 on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN) converting on 27.3% of their opportunities. A 27.3% power play success rate during the regular season would have been the second best in the league (trailing only Edmonton at 29.5%).

34 — The number of points that defenseman duo of Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg have combined this postseason. Just for comparisons sake, here are how many points all of the defenseman on the other three teams have combined for this postseason: Golden Knights (38), Lightning (37), Islanders (34). Given their usage and the way they each lead their own defense pairing, the Stars have a No. 1, elite point producing defenseman on the ice for at least 45 minutes each and every game.


Making The Right Moves

4 — The number of goals against that the defense duo of Nick Leddy and Andy Greene has been on the ice for in 200 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time. How good is that number? The only defense pairing in the league this postseason that has been on the ice for less goals against (minimum 100 minutes of ice-time together) is the Colorado duo of Cale Makar and Ryan Graves. They were on the ice for three goals against in 156 minutes. Leddy and Greene were only victimized once in nine minutes of ice-time together during Tampa’s eight-goal outburst in Game 1, meaning the Islanders gave up seven goals in the 51 minutes these two did not play. The New York Islanders added Greene at the trade deadline for some added defensive depth by sending a couple of draft picks to the Devils.

76% — The goals-for percentage for the Islanders when Jean-Gabriel Pageau, their other big trade deadline acquisition, has been on the ice at even-strength. The Islanders have scored 10 of the 13 goals with Pageau on the ice as he continues to be one of their best players this postseason. He has scored big goals and been a lockdown defensive player that has been a perfect fit for their style of play.

0.51 — Like the Stars, the Islanders have also seen a stunning increase in their goal-scoring. After finishing the regular season with an average 2.78 goals per game, one of the lowest marks in the league, the Islanders have averaged 3.29 during the playoffs. They already have four different players with at least seven goals and five different players to hit double digits in points.

The Shea Theodore show

20-9 — The Vegas Golden Knights‘ goal differential when Theodore is on the ice during 5-on-5 play (290 minutes) this postseason. He is also the team’s leading scorer (16 points) and is tied for second on the team in goals (six) trailing only Alex Tuch (eight).

3 — The number of shutouts recorded by Robin Lehner in the Golden Knights’ Second Round series, making him just the 15th different goalie in NHL history to record three shutouts in a single postseason series. He is the first to do it since Michael Leighton accomplished the feat for the Flyers during the 2009-10 postseason.

59.8 — The Golden Knights total shot attempt percentage for the playoffs as they own a commanding 880-590 lead in that category. How dominant has that territorial edge been? Since the start of the 2007-08 playoffs, only one team that played in at least 10 playoff games in a single postseason has finished with a higher mark — The 2007-08 Red Wings at 60.1%.

Data in this post via Natural Stat Trick

• Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Final schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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    Teravainen scores late, Hurricanes rally to beat Rangers 3-2

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    NEW YORK – Teuvo Teravainen scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period, Frederik Andersen stopped 29 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes rallied to beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

    Jalen Chatfield and Stefan Noesen also scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes, who won for the third time in four games.

    With the comeback win, the Hurricanes became the second team – following Boston – to reach the 100-point mark this season as Carolina increased its Metropolitan Division-lead over second-place New Jersey to two points and the third-place Rangers to eight.

    “That was a great effort. All 20 guys contributed and we got what we deserved,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “If we play like that, we’ll be in good shape. This time of year it gets tougher and tougher.”

    Tyler Motte and Kaapo Kakko scored for the Rangers, who had won four straight were 6-0-1 in their last seven. Igor Shesterkin finished with 36 saves as the Rangers played their third game in four nights – the previous two shutout wins at home.

    “Igor kept us in there as long as he could and we just didn’t have enough in the tank,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba said. ”They won more battles and played a hard game.”

    Teravainen scored his 11th goal with 2:33 left on a pass from defenseman Brent Burns, redirecting the puck past Shesterkin. The Hurricanes, who trailed 1-0 and 2-1.

    “Somehow they left me open in the back side, great pass by him,” Teravainen said of the winning-goal pass to him in the slot. “We knew this would be a tough night. They have a good team. We knew we had to battle to win this game.”

    The Rangers led 1-0 entering the third and were vying for their third-straight shutout before Chatfield tied the score at 9:49 – the first goal the Rangers allowed in more than eight periods. New York was coming off a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night with Shesterkin in goal and a 7-0 triumph over Nashville behind Jaroslav Halak on Sunday.

    Kakko then put New York back ahead 31 seconds later with his 13th goal, only to have Noesen answer right back 18 seconds later to tie it 2-2.

    Motte opened the scoring at the 17-minute mark of the first, knocking the puck past Andersen for his third goal in four games and sixth of the season overall.

    The Rangers hadn’t lost in regulation since a 4-2 defeat on March 4 at Boston.

    “Tonight we didn’t play near well enough to beat that team,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. ”Honestly, the whole game they outplayed us. They were a lot quicker. They managed the puck real well … We didn’t play our game.”


    Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal played his 729th game with Carolina on Tuesday, tying defenseman Glen Wesley for the second-most games played in franchise history since relocation from Hartford in 1997. Staal, 34, trails only his brother Eric, who played 909 games for the Hurricanes from 2003-16.


    Hurricanes: Host the Rangers on Thursday night to finish the home-and-home set in the opener of a four-game homestand.

    Rangers: At Carolina on Thursday night to open a two-game trip.

    Ullmark’s 40 saves carries Bruins past Senators, 2-1

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    BOSTON – Linus Ullmark made 40 saves, Jake DeBrusk had the go-ahead goal and the NHL-best Boston Bruins continued their pursuit of the league’s record for regular-season victories with a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

    “I thought he was outstanding and he needed to be,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said of Ullmark. “Unfortunately we gave up a lot of good looks, a lot of odd-man rushes because of our puck management and he bailed us out like he has all year.”

    David Krejci added a power-play goal for Boston, which won its fourth straight.

    Dylan Gambrell scored for the Senators and Mads Sogaard made 33 stops.

    “We had a shooters’ mentality for two periods,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “The third period, they’ve won 54 games now, they’re not going to give you an odd-man rush, they’re not going to give you anything. You’re going to have to earn it.”

    The Bruins posted their 54th win and with 12 games left are on pace to break the mark of 62, set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96 and matched by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018-19.

    Chasing the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot, Ottawa has lost six of seven following a season-high, five-game winning streak.

    Coming off a 3-2 road trip where they won the last three games by a combined score of 15-2 that included two shutouts by backup Jeremy Swayman, the Bruins converted on a two-man, power-play advantage to tie the game at 1 midway into the opening period when Krejci poked in a rebound from the edge of the crease.

    DeBrusk completed a nifty play with Brad Marchand when he collected a pass cutting down the slot at full speed, shifted and tucked a rebound past Sogaard at 15:52 of the first period for his 23rd goal.

    “It was ‘all world.’ I saw him and he fed it through a lot of guys for a breakaway,” DeBrusk said of the pass. “It was one of those passes where I didn’t know what to do. I was going to point at him (after) but I was going too fast.”

    Gambrell’s wraparound score gave Ottawa a 1-0 edge.

    “I thought I played a good game today,” Sogaard said. “I just battled and stayed with it the entire way. … These ones are tough because we were so close.”


    Ullmark stopped 22 shots in the second period with at least a dozen of them high-quality chances. During an Ottawa PP, he jumped from a crouch to make a right-shoulder stop on Alex DeBrincat’s bid from in close.

    “We talked about it,” defenseman Hampus Lindholm said of the second period. “We know we’re a good team in the third and wanted to tighten it up for him. … They got a lot of chances that were our own fault in the second.”


    The Bruins highlighted women who work and compete in the sports community, having Olympic gold medalist and Boston Pride defender Kali Flanagan accompany Bruins players during pregame walk-ins along with local high school scholastic award winners. In addition, in-arena host Michaela Johnson handled the PA for the night and they also left yellow roses at the seats of female reporters.

    NOTES: The Senators entered the game as the only team holding an advantage in their series against the Bruins this season, winning twice in three games. … Montgomery said after the morning skate that defenseman Derek Forbort would likely be sidelined with a lower-body injury at least through the rest of the regular season. … DeBrusk, playing on the top line most of the season, is four off his career-high goal total, set in 2018-19.


    Senators: Host Tampa Bay on Thursday.

    Bruins: Host longtime rival Montreal in an Original Six matchup Thursday.

    Boldy’s goal with 1.3 left in OT lifts Wild over Devils

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    NEWARK, N.J. – Matt Boldy scored with 1.3 seconds left in overtime and Filip Gustavsson made a career-high 47 saves to give the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

    The game was a chippy, defensive struggle. After two scoreless periods, the Devils were outshooting the Wild 22-19.

    Minnesota finally broke through 6:41 into the third when Mason Shaw scored his seventh goal of the season on a wraparound.

    Timo Meier answered for the Devils five minutes later with his 35th goal of the season on a wraparound of his own.

    New Jersey was unable to convert on a late power play, and the teams went to overtime.

    It was a back-and-forth five minutes of extra hockey, with both goaltenders making good saves. After Jack Hughes hit the post for the Devils, the puck caromed off a post to Boldy and he beat the buzzer with his 23rd goal of the season.

    Vitek Vanecek stopped 27 shots for New Jersey.

    NOTES: The Devils are 10-4 in overtime, while the Wild improved to 4-5.


    Wild: Play at Philadelphia on Thursday night.

    Devils: Play at Buffalo on Friday night.

    Avalanche coach Jared Bednar signs extension through ’26-27

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    DENVER – Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar has signed a three-year extension that will keep him in charge of the reigning Stanley Cup champions through the 2026-27 season.

    The new deal for the winningest head coach in club history kicks in once the current contract runs out after the 2023-24 season.

    Bednar, 51, is the only person to win championships in the ECHL, AHL and NHL as head coach. He directed the Avalanche to their third Stanley Cup title in team history last season by beating Tampa Bay, the two-time defending champions.

    This season, the Avalanche have dealt with an array of injuries, which include missing captain Gabriel Landeskog all year after he underwent knee surgery in October. But they’re starting to creep closer to being healthy – and working their way up the standings. Colorado is riding a six-game winning streak to remain in a tight race with Dallas and Minnesota for the Central Division crown. The top spot in the Western Conference is in play, too.

    “Jared has done a tremendous job behind the bench and certainly deserves this extension and to continue as the leader of our team,” Joe Sakic, the team’s president of hockey operations, said in a statement.

    It wasn’t the prettiest of starts for Bednar in his inaugural season for Colorado. In 2016-17, his team amassed only 48 points (22-56-4) to finish last in the league. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead for Bednar and the Avalanche. They became the first NHL squad to go from worst to first in a span of four seasons or less since the 1970-71 Bruins, according to research by the team.

    In addition, Bednar has led the Avalanche to five straight playoff appearances – and is closing in on a sixth – to become the first Avalanche coach to accomplish the feat. His 40 postseason wins are the second-most in team history, trailing only Bob Hartley (49).

    “His strength as a communicator, his relationship with the players, the way he prepares each and every day is a huge reason our team has been so successful,” general manager Chris MacFarland said. “He is an exceptional leader.”

    Bednar is currently the third-longest tenured coach in the league, behind only Tampa Bay’s Jon Cooper (March 2013) and Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan (December 2015).

    “Being able to lead this team over the last seven years has been a privilege,” said Bednar, whose team faces the Penguins on Wednesday. “I am grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue building on what we’ve accomplished so far.”

    Bednar captured a Kelly Cup (ECHL) with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2009, along with a Calder Cup (AHL) with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2016.