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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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