The Western Conference has beaten up on the East in interconference matchups since the current setup was established in 2005-06. But after a slow start this season, the East has a chance to come out on top for the first time since the adoption of the shootout and the elimination of ties seven years ago.
With 255 of the 270 interconference games in the books, Western Conference teams have won 128 times (128-87-40, 502 winning percentage) to 127 (127-94-34, .498 winning percentage) for the East. It's the closest the East has been to the break-even point under the current rules -- the West has never had a winning percentage of less than .522 in the first six seasons under the current rules. San Jose's 2-1 win against Boston on Thursday kept the East from going ahead.
The Pittsburgh Penguins
have been especially good against the West -- Thursday's 5-1 victory against Nashville gave the Penguins a 13-2-3 mark against the opposite conference. Should the Pens and St. Louis Blues
meet in the Stanley Cup Final, the battle would be especially interesting; the Blues' 14-2-2 mark against the East is the best by any team against the other conference.