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Facts and Figures: Shooters off to fast start

Goal scoring up sharply from last season

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / Managing Editor

If it seems like there are more goals being scored this season, that's because there are.

The 212 games played through the first month of the 2017-18 season have seen an average of 6.10 goals scored (not counting 18 goals credited to teams that won shootouts). That's a big jump from the 5.6 goals per game scored during the same time last season. The League average last season (not counting shootouts) was 5.45 goals per game.

The last time the NHL averaged more than six goals per game was 2005-06, when there was an average of 6.05 non-shootout goals scored in each of the 1,230 games. The NHL hasn't averaged more than 6.10 goals in a game since 1995-96 (6.29).

That might sound like a lot, but it's still a lot less than 25 years ago, when the average NHL game had 7.25 goals scored.

Another indication of the early offensive surge: Each of the top 24 scorers in the League (through Saturday) has averaged at least one point per game. Last season, eight of the top 24 were point-a-game players.


First-time success

If there's one thing the New York Rangers have always done well, it's win their first game against an opponent. The Vegas Golden Knights are no exception.

When the Rangers rallied for a 6-4 win against the Golden Knights at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, they improved to 24-5 with one tie all-time in their first game against the 30 other active NHL teams. They are 14-3 with one tie when the game is at the Garden.

Video: Rangers rally late to defeat Golden Knights, 6-4


Sid 4, Connor 0

Connor McDavid continues to get the best of Sidney Crosby everywhere but on the scoreboard.

McDavid had two points to one for Crosby on Wednesday, but the Pittsburgh Penguins completed their second straight season sweep of the Edmonton Oilers with a 3-2 victory at Rogers Place.

Crosby's assist on Conor Sheary's second-period goal was his first point in four games against McDavid and the Oilers during the past two seasons. McDavid set up each of the Oilers' two goals after scoring in a 2-1 overtime loss at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24, and had four points (one goal, three assists) in two games last season.

However, the Penguins have won all four of the Crosby vs. McDavid games; two in regulation, one in overtime and one in a shootout. Barring a matchup in the Stanley Cup Final, they won't face each other until next season.

Video: PIT@EDM: Sheary finishes Crosby's backhand feed


Islanders turn on power

It took the New York Islanders more than three weeks to get their power play untracked, but they seem to have figured out what they were doing wrong.

New York was last on the power play (2-for-33, 6.1 percent) going into its game at the Nashville Predators on Oct. 28. But the Islanders went 3-for-5 in a 6-2 win, then went 2-for-5 in a 6-3 win against the Golden Knights on Monday and 2-for-4 in a 4-3 loss at the Washington Capitals on Thursday. That 7-for-14 outburst has the Islanders up to 9-for-47 (19.1 percent), 15th in the NHL and just below the League average of 19.4 percent.

The one thing the Islanders still have to work on is taking care of the puck while they have the man-advantage. They've allowed six shorthanded goals in 13 games, tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the most in the League.

Video: NYI@WSH: Lee scores PPG off Bailey's pass

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