New Jersey allowed just 58 third-period goals last season, the fewest of any team in the League. Not coincidentally, New Jersey was 33-1-1 when leading after two periods. The Devils were also in the top six in fewest goals allowed in the other two periods.
Advantage Margin: +34
Year in and year out, there are fewer power plays in Devils games than in any other team's contests -- and the Devils almost always are among the leaders in staying out of the box, as they were (by a substantial margin) again in 2009-10.
Special Teams Goal Margin: +12
New Jersey's special teams were slightly better than average -- 11th on the power play, 13th on the penalty kill. But the Devils' margin on power plays was enough to give them a sizeable advantage on special teams.
Goals by defensemen: 24
The days of Scott Niedermayer
and Brian Rafalski
are long gone. No Devils defender had more than Andy Greene
's 6 goals, and New Jersey's best puck-mover, Paul Martin
, is now a Pittsburgh Penguin.
Total: 8-2-5 • OT: 2-2 • SO: 6-5
The Devils' 39 shootout wins are tied with Dallas and Edmonton for the most since the NHL adopted the tie-breaker five years ago. Martin Brodeur
's 34 wins (six last season), are the most of any goaltender in shootout history.
Times Scored First: 45 • Record: 33-9-3
Another area in which the Devils generally excel is getting the game's first goal; only six teams had more last season -- and only seven had a better winning percentage than New Jersey's .733 mark, though that was down from .841 in 2008-09.
Best 09-10 Number: 58
Goals allowed by the Devils in the third period, the fewest of any team in the League. Not coincidentally, New Jersey was 33-1-1 when leading after two periods. The Devils were also in the top six in fewest goals allowed in the other two periods.
Worst 09-10 Number: 9
Losses to Philadelphia in their 11 meetings with the Flyers, including the playoffs. The Devils lost five of six during the regular season and went 1-4 in their first-round playoff loss.
The Devils play all three division winners from the Western Conference (plus the two Southern California teams and the Rangers) during a brutal six-game trip that begins in late October. They have no homestand longer than four games, but do get to finish with five of their last seven at the Prudential Center.