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A statistical look at the first quarter of the season

Wednesday, 11.24.2010 / 8:45 PM / Inside the Numbers

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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A statistical look at the first quarter of the season
It's hard to believe, but 25 percent of the season has come and gone. NHL.com takes a look at some of the key figures from the first quarter.
Doesn't it feel like the season just started? It does to a lot of us here at NHL.com. But believe it or not, the 2010-11 season reached the one-quarter mark on Wednesday, so it's time to take a look at what's gone on in the first 25 percent of the season.

Here's a look at the first quarter, by the numbers:

0 -- Number of games played by the Florida Panthers that went into overtime. The Panthers were 9-10-0 during the first quarter, but were the only team that had all of its games decided in the regulation 60 minutes. Ottawa was next with one.

1 -- Home losses (including OT and shootouts) by St. Louis and Los Angeles, the fewest in the NHL. The Blues have eight wins and a shootout loss, while the Kings won their first eight at the Staples Center before losing to Columbus.

2 -- Hat tricks by Washington's Alexander Semin and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, the only players to have multiple three-goal games during the first quarter. Semin had one hat trick all last season, and Stamkos had none. Phoenix had the most by any team with four. In all, there were 26 hat tricks during the first quarter.

3 -- Games in which one team scored in the final 30 seconds of regulation time to win. Anaheim's Paul Mara cut it the closest, scoring with 1.7 seconds left to beat Nashville 5-4 on Nov. 7. Nashville's Joel Ward (against Chicago) and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk (against Anaheim) also beat the clock for a win.

4 --
Shutouts by Boston's Tim Thomas, the most by any goaltender. The four shutouts are a big reason Thomas owns a 10-1-0 record and a 1.49 goals-against average. He also leads the League with a .954 save percentage.

5 -- Games in which one team was not given a power play. Three of the five involved the Phoenix Coyotes, who did not take a penalty in a 3-2 win at Vancouver on Nov. 21 and did not get a power play in back-to-back wins against Chicago and Calgary on Nov. 10 and 12. In all, four of the five teams that didn't get a power play did win the game.

6 -- Consecutive games in which Detroit's Danny Cleary scored at least one goal, edging Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (5 games) for the longest goal-scoring streak. 

7 -- Winning streaks by St. Louis and Phoenix during the first quarter, the longest by any teams. The Blues won seven in a row from Oct. 22 through Nov. 7, while the Coyotes are still riding their seven-game streak, which included a 5-0 home win against Edmonton on Tuesday.

8 -- Most goals scored by any team during a game in the first quarter. It happened four times -- all in a span of eight days from Nov. 10-18. Columbus, Philadelphia, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay all put up eight in a game.

9 -- Wins in shootouts by the team that shot first. Though 21 of 26 home teams opted to shoot first, the team that shot second won 17 times. Home teams shooting first were 7-14; road teams that had to go first went 2-3.

10 -- Power-play goals by Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, who had half of his League-high 20 goals with the extra man. Stamkos had more power-play goals than four teams: Columbus (8), New Jersey and Nashville (7) and Florida (5).

11 -- Goals scored on penalty shots, in only 18 attempts. There were just 16 penalty-shot goals scored all last season, in 55 attempts.

13 -- Shots by Edmonton in its Oct. 10 home game against Florida, the fewest by any team in a game. Despite the limited opportunities, the Oilers won 3-2. In fact, four of the six teams that had 15 or fewer shots in a game went home with a win.

14 -- Points by Los Angeles' Justin Williams and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom during their 11-game point-scoring streaks, tying them for the longest in the League so far this season. Williams had 7 goals and 7 assists; Lidstrom scored 2 goals and set up 12 others.

15 -- Most goals by two teams in one game. Tampa Bay beat Philadelphia 8-7 on Nov. 18 in a game that matched the most goals scored in a contest since 2005. The Lightning were also involved in the last 15-goal game -- they lost 9-6 to Calgary in December 2007.

17 -- Assists by Edmonton defenseman Ryan Whitney, the most by any player who doesn't have a goal. He's tied for the most assists by a defenseman along with Colorado's John-Michael Liles and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, both of whom scored 3 goals.

19 -- Goals scored in 20 games by the New York Islanders while playing 5-on-5. The Islanders had the fewest 5-on-5 goals of any team (Philadelphia was tops with 51), and were the only team to average less than one 5-in-5 goal per game.

26 --
Shootouts in the first quarter, putting the League on a pace for 104 for the full season. That would be a huge drop from last season, when there were 184. There have been at least 145 shootouts every season since the tie-breaker was adopted in 2005.
Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis