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Facts and Figures: Islanders loving Saturday

Undefeated record on day of week includes road wins against conference leaders Blues, Lightning

by John Kreiser @jkreiser7713 / NHL.com Managing Editor

The New York Islanders are doing something this season they couldn't do in 2016-17: win games on Saturday.

A key reason the Islanders came up one point short of a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season was that they were 3-8-5 in the 16 games they played on Saturday, including 2-7-2 in road games. Though the Islanders have played four of their six Saturday games this season on the road, they are 6-0-0, including wins away from home one week apart against the two conference leaders, the St. Louis Blues (5-2 on Nov. 11) and the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3 on Saturday). They also have road wins against the San Jose Sharks (3-1 on Oct. 14) and Nashville Predators (6-2 on Oct. 28), and home wins against the Buffalo Sabres (6-3 on Oct. 7) and the Sharks (5-3 on Oct. 21).

The Islanders are 5-6-0 on the road this season entering their game Sunday at the Carolina Hurricanes (5 p.m. ET; FS-CR, MSG+, NHL.TV). They are 4-0-0 on Saturdays, but 1-6-0 on the other six days of the week.

The Islanders have succeeded on Saturday despite being outshot in five of the six games, including 39-32 by the Lightning. But after the win against Tampa Bay, New York is 9-3-0 this season when it's outshot; the Islanders are 2-2-2 when they've outshot their opponent.

Video: Lee's two goals power Islanders past Lightning, 5-3

 

A win to remember

Forgive the Toronto Maple Leafs if they want to spend a few hours savoring their 6-0 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.

It was the third time since the teams began play in the 1917-18 season that the Maple Leafs have had a shutout victory that big in Montreal. Toronto won 6-0 at the Forum on Jan. 13, 1966, and 6-0 at Bell Centre on Feb. 9, 2013.

Even with the victory, Toronto is still 109-213-43-5 at Montreal. Before going 2-0-0 at Bell Centre this season, the Maple Leafs had lost their previous eight games in Montreal.

Video: Andersen, Matthews lead Leafs past Habs, 6-0

 

Playing by the rules

The Hurricanes aren't the NHL's best penalty-killers by percentage; at 80.0 percent, they're below the League average of 80.8. But they more than make up for that by staying out of the penalty box.

Through their first 18 games, the Hurricanes have given opponents 40 power-play opportunities (2.22 per game). That's by far the fewest in the League; the Columbus Blue Jackets have the next-fewest (51 in 20 games, 2.55 per game). Carolina's eight power-play goals against are also the fewest in the League; Columbus and the Boston Bruins are next with nine.

The Hurricanes have had 60 power plays in those 18 games, and their plus-20 differential is the best in the League. But they're not turning those extra power plays into goals: Carolina is 8-for-60 (13.3 percent) on the power play, 30th in the League; the Hurricanes' penalty-killers have allowed the same number of goals on 20 fewer opportunities.

Video: DAL@CAR: Teravainen cranks top-shelf blast for PPG

 

Getting Buffaloed in Pittsburgh

The Buffalo Sabres come back to PPG Paints Arena on Dec. 3. It's a trip they'd probably rather skip.

The Sabres have lost their past seven visits to Pittsburgh. But the past three of those seven, including a 5-4 overtime loss on Tuesday, have been especially painful: All three have come after the Sabres held multigoal leads.

Video: Sheary, Penguins edge Sabres in overtime, 5-4

Buffalo led 3-0 but lost 5-4 in a shootout on March 29, 2016; saw a 3-0 lead turn into a 4-3 loss on March 5, 2017, and were ahead 2-0 and 3-1 on Tuesday before losing 5-4 in overtime.

It's not like the Sabres have had a lot of success anywhere against the Penguins in the past few years: They are 1-10-2 against Pittsburgh since the start of the 2013-14 season; the only victory was a 2-1 shootout win at home exactly one year ago.

The Penguins have their own Kryptonite: the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago's 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh on Saturday was their eighth in a row against the Penguins. In each of the past five, including Chicago's 10-1 win in its season opener on Oct. 5, the Penguins have scored one goal.

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