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Habs' power play a big plus

by John Kreiser
The Canadiens' finished with the second best power play in the NHL last season, but that was essential when compared to the team's PK woes.

Advantage Margin: -50
No team in the NHL had a bigger imbalance in special teams opportunities than the Canadiens, mostly because they drew only 261 power plays -- down from 374 a year earlier.

Special Teams Goal Margin: 0
The Canadiens' power play was excellent, finishing second in the League. The penalty-killers were 11th at 83 percent. But the disparity in chances evened up the numbers -- Montreal had only four more power-play goals than it allowed and surrendered eight shorthanded goals while scoring just four.

Goals by defensemen: 34   
Last-minute pickup Marc-Andre Bergeron was a big part of the Canadiens' success on the power play and wound up with 13 goals in 60 games -- though he was minus-7. Andrei Markov was 6-28-34 in just 45 games.

Overtime Record
Total: 15-5-5
OT: 8-5 SO: 7-5
The Canadiens' eight OT wins were the most in the NHL -- though they were 4-5 in overtime after going 4-0 in October. Since-traded Jaroslav Halak was terrific in shootouts, stopping 16 of 21 tries while going 5-2.
Times Scored First: 39 Record: 28-8-3   
The Canadiens did a good job of turning early leads into points -- especially at home, where they were 17-3-1 (.810) when they scored first.

Best 09-10 Number: 28.3
Montreal's power-play percentage on the road, the best in the NHL. The Canadiens scored 32 power-play goals away from the Bell Centre despite getting only 113 opportunities with the extra man, the second-lowest total in the League.

Worst 09-10 Number: 7
Overtime/shootout losses by the Canadiens on Saturdays, the most by any team on any day of the week. The Canadiens played 24 Saturday games and went 10-7-7 -- and four of those victories also came after regulation time.
The Canadiens have 14 of their first 22 games at home through November, but will see a lot of the road in December -- including a seven-game trip that begins Dec. 19. They are also the visitors for the Heritage Classic in Calgary on Feb. 20.
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