Numbers show dominance of Penguins, Blackhawks
Though it might seem as if the 2012-13 regular season started only a few days ago, it is rapidly coming to a conclusion. We've passed the three-quarter mark, and the last of this season's 720 games will be played on April 27.
A few teams have separated themselves from the pack, but most of the eight playoff berths in each conference are still up for grabs.
Here's a look at some of the season's key numbers as we blow past the season's three-quarter mark:
0 -- Post-regulation losses by the Pittsburgh Penguins, the only team that did not lose at least once in overtime or a shootout. The Penguins won all four games they played that went beyond 60 minutes, twice in OT and twice in a shootout.
1 -- Games played without a penalty being called, matching the total for all of last season. The Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders played a penalty-free game on Feb. 27; the Leafs were also involved in 2011-12's only penalty-free contest (against the Edmonton Oilers).
2 -- Penalty-shot goals by rookie Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers. Huberdeau is 2-for-2; everyone else in the NHL was 6-for-28.
3 -- Victories by the Anaheim Ducks against the Chicago Blackhawks in their three head-to-head meetings this season. The Ducks won 4-2 at home and 3-2 (in a shootout) and 2-1 in their two visits to United Center. Anaheim is the only team not to lose to Chicago this season.
4 -- Goals scored by Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz in the Penguins' 6-3 victory against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 3, the only four-goal game by any player this season. Kunitz and Nazem Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs were the only players with more than one hat trick through the first three-quarters of the season.
6 -- Shootout losses on the road by the New Jersey Devils, who have the most victories in the tiebreaker since it was adopted in 2005. New Jersey is 2-1 at home but 0-6 away from Prudential Center.
6 -- Games lost by the Boston Bruins in which they led after two periods -- including a League-high four such losses in regulation. Last season, the Bruins were a perfect 32-0-0 when they were ahead after 40 minutes.
7 -- Times in their first 39 games that the Chicago Blackhawks trailed after 40 minutes, the fewest in the NHL. The Blackhawks went 3-3-1 in those games.
8 -- Consecutive victories at the start of the season for Viktor Fasth, Anaheim's first-year goaltender. The 30-year-old Swede became only the third goalie in NHL history to win the first eight decisions of his career.
10 -- Shootout rounds needed by the Winnipeg Jets to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 16. Zach Bogosian's goal in the 10th round ended the longest shootout in more than two years.
11 -- Shorthanded goals by the Devils, the most in the League and four more than the runner-up Buffalo Sabres. Two teams -- the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning -- have not scored while shorthanded.
13 -- Games involving the Nashville Predators that ended in a shutout, the most of any team. The Predators have posted five shutouts (all by Pekka Rinne), but have been blanked a League-leading eight times.
13 -- Most combined goals by two teams in one game. The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Montreal Canadiens 7-6 in overtime on March 2 at Bell Centre; no other game has had more than 11 goals scored.
14 -- Power-play goals by Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, the most in the NHL. Ovechkin was the only player to reach double figures by the three-quarter mark of the season.
15 -- Victories by the Penguins in their 15 games in March. After losing its last game in February, Pittsburgh went 15-0-0, making the Penguins the first team not to lose a game in a month while playing more than 10 games. Pittsburgh then lost its first two games in April.
16 -- Road victories by the Chicago Blackhawks, the most of any team. The Blackhawks are 16-2-2 in their 20 games away from United Center, outscoring their opponents 70-38.
24 -- Consecutive games from the start of the season in which the Chicago Blackhawks earned at least one point, the most from the opening of a season in NHL history. The Colorado Avalanche finally ended the streak with a 6-2 victory in Denver on March 8.
27 -- Fewest seconds needed to decide a game in overtime. Marian Gaborik, then of the New York Rangers, beat the Boston Bruins on Jan. 23, and Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild matched that accomplishment on Feb. 26 against the Calgary Flames.
28 -- Combined power-play goals scored and allowed by the Boston Bruins. Boston surrendered a League-low 12 man-advantage goals -- but the Bruins scored only 16, tied for the fewest in the NHL.
56 -- Points by League leader Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, five more than runner-up Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
84 -- Games so far this season that were decided in a shootout. The San Jose Sharks have played a League-high 11 tiebreakers; the Carolina Hurricanes have been involved in the fewest -- one.
Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist