NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
[Lightning 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]
1. Vasilevskiy's save percentage against power play
Andrei Vasilevskiy led the 41 NHL goalies who played at least 35 games last season with a .910 save percentage against the power play. Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild was the only other goalie above .900 (.901) among the 41. It's no coincidence the Lightning tied the Columbus Blue Jackets and Arizona Coyotes for the best penalty kill in the NHL (85.0 percent). Defenseman Ryan McDonagh played an integral role in that success, leading Tampa Bay with average of 3:08 in shorthanded ice time. Center Anthony Cirelli made an impact in his rookie season by leading Lightning forwards in the category (2:43). Tampa Bay's penalty kill had a positive effect on Vasilevskiy, who led the NHL or was tied for the lead in wins in each of the past two seasons.
Video: Analyzing the analytics of Vasilevskiy, Josi, Meier
2. Power-play points
Every skater on the Lightning's top unit had at least 20 power-play points last season. Forwards Nikita Kucherov (48 power-play points; 15 goals, 33 assists) and Steven Stamkos (40; 19 goals, 21 assists) were first and second in the NHL. Center Brayden Point (35; 20 goals, 15 assists) was tied for sixth, Victor Hedman (25; two goals, 23 assists) was tied for fifth among NHL defensemen, and forward J.T. Miller's 20 power-play points (four goals, 16 assists) were eight more than his previous NHL high. Miller was traded to the Vancouver Canucks on June 22, leaving a vacancy on the top unit. Forward Ondrej Palat is a likely candidate to replace Miller after he had eight power-play points last season (two goals, six assists), nine (four goals, five assists) in 2017-18, and 15 (five goals, 10 assists) in 2016-17. Tampa Bay had the best power play in the NHL last season (28.2 percent), scoring a League-high 74 goals
Video: Top 10 plays of 2018-19: Stamkos.
3. 5-on-5 goals
The Lightning excelled at 5-on-5, tying the Toronto Maple Leafs for the NHL lead with 206 goals. Center Tyler Johnson led Tampa Bay with 27 even-strength goals, one more than Kucherov and three more than Stamkos. Kucherov tied Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane for second in the NHL with 80 even-strength points, one behind Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid. McDonagh quietly finished sixth among NHL defensemen with 40 points at even strength. Even if the Lightning special teams take a step back, it's likely their proficiency at even strength could offset any difference.
Video: 31 in 31: Tampa Bay Lightning 2019-20 season preview
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