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Bruins play their best late in games

Sunday, 09.18.2011 / 11:59 PM / NHL.com's 30 in 15

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Bruins play their best late in games
The Boston Bruins won the Cup last season, but did their numbers reflect their championship?
Advantage Margin: 0
The Bruins had 12 more power plays than their opponents in Boston, but the margin was exactly the opposite on the road. They were in the bottom-four in power plays, but were shorthanded the fourth-fewest times in the League -- 265 each.

Special Teams Goal Margin: +3
There were only 89 combined power-play goals in Boston's 82 games last season, among the fewest in the NHL. The Bruins helped themselves with 11 shorthanded goals.

Goals by defensemen: 39
Zdeno Chara and his booming shot accounted for 14 of Boston's goals from the defense, but the Bruins also got a career-high seven goals and 32 points from Dennis Seidenberg.

BOSTON BRUINS
2010-11 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2010-11 Points 103 (3rd East/7th NHL)
Change from 2009-10 +12
Home Points 50 (6th East/14th NHL)
Road Points 53 (3rd East/5th NHL)
Overtime Record
Total: 3-5-6 OT: 1-5 SO: 2-6

The best way to beat the Bruins was to get them past regulation. The Bruins won only once in seven home games that went longer than 60 minutes, and Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas was just 1-5 in shootouts.

Times Scored First: 42
Record: 30-6-6

The Bruins were just ordinary in getting leads, but they did an excellent job of turning those leads into wins -- especially at home, where they were 19-2-2 when scoring first.

Best 2010-11 Number: 57
Goals allowed by Boston in the third period, the fewest in the NHL. Combine that with the Bruins' 94 goals scored (second to Vancouver) and you get a plus-37 margin in the final period, the best in the East.

Worst 2010-11 Number: .528
Thomas' save percentage in shootouts, among the worst in the NHL for goaltenders who faced 10 or more tries. While the NHL's top goaltender stopped a record 93.8 percent of the shots he faced during regulation and overtime, he was just 10-for-19 in shootouts.

Scheduling
The October trip that's been standard on the Bruins' schedule for years is gone -- seven of the defending champs' first nine games and 13 of the first 17 are at home. But they face a six-game trip in February and a California trip in March.
Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday