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Sharks used to protecting leads

by John Kreiser
Protecting leads is nothing new to San Jose, which won an NHL-leading 36 games last season in which it was ahead going into the third period.

Advantage Margin:  -18
Considering that they gave up 176 power plays (and earned just 151) on the road, the Sharks' showing away from HP Pavilion is even more impressive. 

Special Teams Goal Margin: +15
The Sharks were third in the League in power-play percentage on the road, but they could have been first if they'd played a couple of more games in Los Angeles, where they went 8-for-10 in three visits, including a 4-for-4 night early in the season.

Goals by defensemen: 37   
Dan Boyle (15 goals, 58 points) continues to be one of the NHL's premier offensive defensemen, but the Sharks will have to replace the production from Rob Blake (7-23-30 in 60 games). No one else had more than four goals.

Overtime Record
Total: 8-5-6
OT: 1-5 SO: 7-6
The best way to beat the Sharks in San Jose was to take them beyond regulation. The Sharks were 23-6 at home when the game was decided in 60 minutes, but just 4-8 (1-3 in OT, 3-5 in shootouts) when the score was even after regulation.

Times Scored First: 39 Record: 31-3-5
San Jose scored first only 17 times on the road, but the Sharks were the only team that got at least one point every time it did so, going 15-0-2 when getting the first goal away from the Shark Tank.

Best 09-10 Number: 36
Victories by the Sharks when they led after two periods, the most in the NHL. San Jose went 36-0-5 when it took a lead into the third period, one of five teams that never went home empty-handed when leading through 40 minutes.

Worst 09-10 Number: 9
Shorthanded goals surrendered by the Sharks; only the Minnesota Wild allowed more. The Sharks tied the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens for the most shorthanded goals allowed at home by surrendering six.
San Jose begins its season with a pair of games against Columbus in Stockholm, then gets two home games. The Sharks' biggest test is a seven-game trip in February; they start March with a six-game homestand and play 10 of 14 in the season's last full month at the Shark Tank.
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