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Counting out a memorable regular season

by John Kreiser /

The Montreal Canadiens came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat the Rangers 6-5 in a shootout February 19, 2008. Habs comeback
The 1,230 games of the 2007-08 regular season are in the books. Sixteen teams are headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while the other 14 are working to figure out what changes they’ll need to make to get there next spring, beginning with Monday night’s draft lottery.

Here’s a look at some of the more interesting numbers of the just-concluded season:

0 – Teams with less than 70 points. Tampa Bay and Los Angeles tied for the fewest points in the NHL with 71, the highest total by a last-place finisher in League history.

1 – Games in which a team trailed by five or more goals and rallied to win. The Montreal Canadiens were down 5-0 in the second period to the New York Rangers on Feb. 19, but rallied to tie the game in the third period and won the game in a shootout. It matched the biggest comeback in NHL history.

2 – Natural hat tricks after the second period by Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek against Tampa Bay this season. He added a third natural hat trick in the Sabres’ season finale against Boston.

3 – Players who scored 50 goals this season. Calgary’s Jarome Iginla became the third member of the 50-goal club when he scored in the third period of the Flames’ season finale in Vancouver on Saturday. He joined Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk.

4 – Goals scored by Alex Ovechkin against Ottawa on Dec. 29 and Montreal on Jan. 31. Ovechkin, who led the NHL with 65 goals, was the only player to score four or more goals in a game more than once this season.

5 – Goals scored by Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik against the New York Rangers on Dec. 20, 2007. It was the first five-goal game in the NHL since Sergei Fedorov had five in an overtime win for Detroit on Dec. 26, 1996.

6 – Goals in a period by Washington (first period) against Boston on March 3 and by Buffalo against Tampa Bay (third period) on March 19 – the most goals by any team in a period this season.
7 – Shootout goals by Chicago rookie Patrick Kane, in nine attempts. He and San Jose’s Joe Pavelski (7-for-11) were tops in shootout goals; Kane’s 77.8 percentage (7-for-9) was the best of any player with five or more goals.

8 – Goals scored by Florida in an 8-0 victory at Toronto on Feb. 5. It was the most goals scored in a shutout this season, and the most goals scored in a game and the largest margin of victory ever by Florida since entering the NHL in 1993.

9 – Margin of victory in Buffalo’s 10-1 victory over Atlanta on Jan. 18, the biggest in the NHL this season. The 10 goals also matched Washington (10-2 over Boston on March 3) for the most goals scored in a game this season.

10 – Shots on goal by the Atlanta Thrashers in a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Feb. 16 and by Vancouver in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on March 2. They were the fewest shots on goal by a team this season.

11 – Wins on the road by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the fewest in the League this season. The Lightning’s 28 points away from home were by far the fewest in the NHL; no other team had fewer than 33.

12 – Rounds in the shootouts between Edmonton and Washington on Jan. 17 and Colorado and Phoenix on Feb. 22. The home teams (Washington and Phoenix) won both games.

Roberto Luongo faced a League-leading 54 shootout attempts — and lost eight shootouts, the most of any goaltender this season.
14 – Shootouts involving Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, the most by any goaltender this season. Luongo faced a League-leading 54 shootout attempts — and lost eight shootouts, the most of any goaltender this season.

15 – Combined goals by Calgary (nine) and Tampa Bay (six) in their game at the St. Pete Times Forum on Dec. 13, 2007. The 15 goals were the most scored in a game since Toronto beat the New York Islanders, 9-6, on Dec. 19, 2006.

18 – Shorthanded goals by the Ottawa Senators, the most in the NHL this season. Chicago was next with 17; Colorado was last with two.

19 – Games involving the Edmonton Oilers that went to a shootout, the most in the NHL this season. The Oilers set a League record with 15 shootout victories.

20 – Consecutive games without a loss in regulation by the San Jose Sharks, who lost 3-2 at New Jersey on Feb. 20 and didn’t go home without a point again until losing their last two games of the season – by which time they had locked up the Pacific Division title and the second seed in the West.

28 – Years since the Montreal Canadiens led the NHL in scoring. The Canadiens topped the League with 262 goals, one more than Ottawa. They hadn’t been first in goals scored since 1979-80, when they had 328.

29 – Home victories by the Detroit Red Wings, the most in the League this season. Anaheim was next with 28.

30 – Saves by Edmonton goaltender Mathieu Garon in 32 shootout attempts, by far the best showing in the League. Garon was a perfect 10-0 in shootouts, the best performance by a goaltender since the shootout was instituted in 2005.

32 – Combined shots by Columbus (16) and Colorado (16) on Dec. 12, 2007, the fewest by two teams in a game this season. Columbus won the game, 4-1.

44 – Goals scored by the New York Islanders in the first period, the fewest of any team in any period this season. Phoenix was next with 50 in the first period; all 30 teams had at least 60 goals in the second and third periods.
San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov won 46 games this season, the most by any goaltender in the National Hockey League.
46 – Victories by San Jose’s Evgeni Nabokov, the most by any goaltender in the NHL this season.

53 – Shots stopped by Florida goaltender Craig Anderson in a 1-0 victory against the New York Islanders on March 2. It was the most saves in a shutout since the NHL began tracking shots on goal in 1955-56. Anderson made 40 saves when he shut out Boston, 1-0 in overtime, two nights later, setting NHL marks by recording consecutive 1-0 shutouts on the road and stopping 93 shots in consecutive shutouts.

56 – Shots on goal by the Toronto Maple Leafs in their home game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan.5, the most by any team in a game this season. All those shots didn’t help – the Flyers left the Air Canada Centre with a 3-2 victory.

66 – Times the Atlanta Thrashers were outshot; Atlanta was 25-33-8 in those games. The Thrashers outshot their opponents just 10 times in 82 games, by far the fewest in the NHL.

70 – Times in 82 games the Detroit Red Wings outshot their opponents, by far the most in the NHL. The Wings went 50-15-5 in those games.

119 – Goals allowed in the third period by the Tampa Bay Lightning, by far the most in the NHL; Atlanta and Toronto were next with 95. Los Angeles (105 in the second period) was the only other team to allow 100 or more goals in a period.

174 – Approximate length, in feet, of the goal New York Islanders defenseman Rob Davison scored against Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala on March 18. There’s no official record for longest goal scored with a goaltender in net, but Davison’s is the longest in at least a decade.

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