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Penguins' perfect month by the numbers

by John Kreiser

March was a month the Pittsburgh Penguins will never forget.

Pittsburgh's 2-0 victory against the New York Islanders on Saturday gave the Penguins the first perfect month (10 games or more) in NHL history. The Penguins played 15 games and won them all -- the first five by excelling at run-and-gun hockey and the last 10 by playing a shutdown style that limited opponents' scoring chances. They set a franchise record for victories in a single month and matched the 1981-82 New York Islanders for the second-longest winning streak in NHL history. This season's Pittsburgh team is two victories away from equaling the League record of 17 consecutive victories -- set by the 1992-93 Penguins.

Here's a look at some of the statistical highlights of the "March of the Penguins":

0 -- Goals allowed by the Penguins in their last three games of the month. Pittsburgh beat Montreal 1-0 and blanked Winnipeg 4-0 before beating the Islanders 2-0 to cap their big month.

Longest winning streaks, one season

  • 17 - Penguins, March 9-April 10, 1993
  • 15 - Penguins, March 2-present
  • 15 - Islanders, Jan. 21-Feb. 20, 1982
  • 14 - Capitals, Jan. 13-Feb. 7, 2010
  • 14 - Bruins, Dec. 3-Jan. 9, 1930

For a game-by-game account of the Penguins' winning streak, CLICK HERE.

1 -- Hat tricks by Pittsburgh during the month. Chris Kunitz had three goals in a 6-1 victory against the Islanders on March 10. Sidney Crosby had five assists in the same game.

2 -- Shorthanded goals by the Penguins, who didn't allow any of their 15 opponents to score one. Craig Adams scored one into an empty net against Toronto on March 14, and Pascal Dupuis had the other in the victory against Winnipeg two weeks later.

3 -- Victories for the Penguins in games that went past regulation. They beat Montreal 7-6 in overtime on March 2, outlasted Toronto 5-4 in a shootout on March 9 and topped Philadelphia 2-1 in OT on March 24.

4 -- Games won by Pittsburgh when trailing after two periods. The Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits and rallied from a 2-0 hole to beat Boston 3-2 on March 12.

5 -- Road wins during March for Pittsburgh. The Penguins won at Montreal and Philadelphia, beat Toronto twice in less than a week at Air Canada Centre and defeated the New York Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y. As the visiting team, Pittsburgh outscored its five opponents 24-16.

6 -- Victories by the Penguins against their Atlantic Division rivals. They beat the Islanders three times, the Flyers twice and the New York Rangers once. They also won six games against Northeast Division teams and three against Southeast Division opponents.

7 -- Power-play goals scored and allowed by the Penguins in March. The power play went 7-for-39, while the penalty-killers surrendered seven goals on 41 attempts.

8 -- Victories for starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury; backup Tomas Vokoun won the other seven. The two collaborated on a pair of wins, with Vokoun getting the victory in relief in a 5-4 win at Philadelphia and completing the 1-0 shutout against Montreal by playing the third period after Fleury was injured.

9 -- Games in which the Penguins limited opponents to fewer than 30 shots. The fewest they allowed in any game was 16 against Boston on March 12.

11 -- Goals during the month by Kunitz, the most by any player on the team. He also had nine assists and is third in the League in both goals (20) and points (44).

12 -- Pittsburgh's winning streak at the Consol Energy Center entering April, including a 10-0-0 mark during their streak. The Penguins haven't lost at home since dropping a 6-5 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 20.

13 -- Combined goals in the Penguins' first game of the month, a 7-6 overtime victory at Montreal. That's the most goals scored by two teams in any game this season.

14 -- Consecutive games in which Dupuis was a plus player in March. He was a combined plus-19 in the first 14 games of the month before being even in the 2-0 victory against the Islanders.

25 -- Points by Crosby in the 15 victories -- even though he played just 50 seconds in the victory against the Islanders on Saturday before being hit in the face by a puck and missing the rest of the game. Crosby scored nine goals and assisted on 16 others, running his League-leading points total to 56.

27 -- Goals scored by the Penguins in the first five victories. That includes a 7-6 overtime victory, a pair of 5-4 wins, one by a score of 4-3 -- and a 6-1 blowout of the Islanders on March 10. They scored just 26 goals in the final 10 wins.

208:24 -- Pittsburgh's month-ending shutout streak, the longest in franchise history, breaking the previous mark of 187:30 set in February 1993. Vokoun set an individual franchise record by not allowing a goal in the final 162:42 he played.

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