A final statistical look at 2011-12 regular season
It's hard to believe, but the 2011-12 regular season is over. The fourth 15-game day/night in League history sent the season into the history books with a bang -- the 1,230th and final game went into overtime before the San Jose Sharks determined the final playoff pairings by beating Los Angeles 3-2.
With a three-day intermission before the first puck drops on the Stanley Cup Playoffs, here's a statistical look at the just-concluded regular season:
0 -- Penalty minutes assessed in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 6-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 6. It was the only game of the season -- and the first in the NHL since April 2, 2010 -- in which no penalties were called.
1 -- Goals credited to goaltenders. Carolina's Cam Ward received credit for an empty-net goal against New Jersey on Dec. 26 when he made a save and New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk back-passed the puck into his own net. It was the first goal by a goaltender since Chris Mason of Nashville had one in April 2006.
2 -- Division titles won by teams that before this season had never finished first since entering the NHL. Florida won the Southeast, its first title since joining the League in 1993, while Phoenix finished first in the Pacific Division, giving the Coyotes franchise a division crown for the first time since it came into the NHL as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979.
3 -- Most hat tricks by a single player. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin was the only player with a trio of three-goal games -- two of them against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
4 -- Most goals by a player in one game this season. It was done three times: Matt Moulson of the Islanders did it at Dallas on Dec. 3, Lars Eller of Montreal had four against Winnipeg on Jan. 4, and Sam Gagner scored four times against Chicago on Feb. 2.
5 -- Overtime goals by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, the most by a player in one season since the NHL re-instituted overtime in 1983. He also had 55 goals in regulation to become the NHL's first 60-goal scorer since Alex Ovechkin in 2007-08 and just the second since 1995-96.
5 -- Games that went to a shootout after neither team scored through regulation and overtime. All five took place after the All-Star break. Philadelphia was the only team involved in more than one -- the Flyers lost to the New York Islanders on Feb. 7 and beat Toronto on March 10. Ilya Bryzgalov was in goal for Philadelphia in both games.
6 -- Games won by the Boston Bruins by a margin of six or more goals. The Bruins had the only 9-0 and 8-0 (twice) wins, and also won 7-0 and 6-0 (twice). The other 29 teams combined for only 16 six-goal wins.
7 -- Game-deciding shootout goals by New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk, the most ever by a player in a single season since the NHL adopted the tiebreaker in 2005. Kovalchuk also set a record by scoring 11 times in the tiebreaker.
8 -- Points by Gagner against the Hawks in Edmonton's 8-4 win Feb. 2. Not only did Gagner have the most by any player this season, the eight points are the most by anyone since Mario Lemieux had eight on New Year's Eve in 1988.
8.4 -- Average penalty minutes by Nashville in its 82 games this season, the fewest of any team in the NHL. The Predators took 689 penalty minutes, 10 fewer than second-place Detroit.
9 -- Most goals scored in a game by one team. The Philadelphia Flyers were the only club to score (Nov. 5 vs. Columbus) and allow (Oct. 27 vs. Winnipeg) nine goals in a game. Edmonton (Nov. 19 vs. Chicago) and Boston (Jan. 5 vs. Calgary) also scored nine times.
10 -- Shutouts by Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick, the most by any goaltender this season. Quick set a personal best and broke the single-season franchise record previously held by Rogie Vachon.
12 -- Shootout wins by New Jersey, the most in the NHL -- Minnesota was second with 11. The Devils did it with offense; they matched the record for best shooting percentage (15 or more tries) set by Dallas in 2005-06 by going 28-for-49 (57.1 percent). Montreal had the most shootout losses, with 12.
15 -- Shutouts by the St. Louis goaltending tandem of Brian Elliott (nine) and Jaroslav Halak (six). It's the most shutouts by one team since Chicago's Tony Esposito had 15 in 1969-70.
17 -- Consecutive games with at least one point, by Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis, the longest streak by any player this season. Dupuis had 10 goals and 12 assists in the Penguins' last 17 games of the season.
18 -- Losses in games that went past regulation by the Florida Panthers, matching the NHL record set by the Tampa Bay Lightning three seasons ago. Eleven of the losses came in shootouts, including a League-high nine at home.
19 -- Goals each for Nashville's Shea Weber and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson, the most among defensemen. Not coincidentally, their teams were 1-2 in scoring by defensemen -- Nashville got 47 goals from its defensemen, three more than Ottawa.
20 -- Consecutive seasons in the playoffs for Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, matching Larry Robinson's mark for the most consecutive trips to the playoffs. Lidstrom has been involved in the playoffs in each of his 20 NHL seasons.
20 -- Shootouts involving the Minnesota Wild, matching the NHL record for tiebreakers in a single season set by Phoenix two seasons ago. The Wild won 11 of the 20 shootouts, three fewer than the 2009-10 Coyotes.
23 -- Consecutive home wins by the Detroit Red Wings, from Nov. 5 (5-0 vs. Anaheim) through Feb. 19 (3-2 vs. San Jose), breaking the previous mark of 20 held by the 1929-30 Bruins and matched by the 1975-76 Flyers.
26:53 -- Average time on ice per game for former Chicago teammates Brian Campbell and Duncan Keith, the most of any player this season. Keith played 74 games for the Hawks; Campbell skated in all 82 games for the Florida Panthers, who acquired him from Chicago last summer.
27 -- Power-play goals allowed (in 259 attempts) by New Jersey, which set an expansion-era record for best penalty-killing percentage at 89.6, breaking Dallas' 12-year-old mark of 89.3. The Devils also led the NHL with 15 shorthanded goals.
35:32 -- Ice time by Minnesota defenseman Marco Scandella in the Wild's 2-1 shootout win against Chicago on April 5, the most by any player in a single game this season. It's also a single-game franchise record for the Wild.
36 -- Plus rating for Boston's Patrice Bergeron, the best in the NHL. The first five players in the plus-minus ratings all come from Boston; the Bruins had the only players in the NHL with a rating better than plus-29. Bergeron also led the NHL by winning 973 faceoffs.
54 -- Saves by Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith in a 2-0 victory against Columbus on April 3. Not only was it the most saves in a game by any goaltender this season, it was the most in a shutout since the NHL began tracking shots on goal 56 years ago.
84 -- Games played by San Jose's Daniel Winnik, who led the League and managed to play in more than the regulation 82 by being dealt from the Avalanche to the Sharks at the trade deadline. Buffalo's Cody Hodgson, another player dealt at the deadline (by Vancouver) played in 83.
374 -- Hits credited to Islanders forward Matt Martin, the most by any player since hits became an official statistic seven years ago. Martin lapped the field -- Los Angeles forward Dustin Brown was next with 293. Minnesota forward Cal Clutterbuck, who had led the League in each of the past three seasons and held the previous mark with 356, was third with 288.