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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    Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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    OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

    The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

    Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

    The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

    Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

    Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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    CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

    The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

    The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

    Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

    The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

    The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

    Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

    The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

    Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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    TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

    The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

    “This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

    Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.