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Statistical look at the 2011-12 first quarter

by John Kreiser
It may seem like opening night was only a day or so ago, but the 2011-12 NHL season reached the one-quarter mark this week. We've seen a tremendous first quarter by Toronto's Phil Kessel, Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas posting even better numbers than last season -- and a spectacular return by concussion-idled Sidney Crosby.

With Thanksgiving here and the Christmas holidays on the way, here's a look at the first quarter, by the numbers:

0 -- Road victories by the New York Islanders, the only team that has yet to win a game away from home. The Islanders have lost five games in regulation, one in overtime and another in a shootout.

1 -- Teams that have led by three goals in a game and not gotten at least one point. The New Jersey Devils were in front 3-0 after one period at Florida on Monday but went home with a 4-3 loss in regulation -- a game that also marked the first time they’ve ever lost a regulation game with a three-goal lead and Martin Brodeur in goal. Four other teams have lost in OT or a shootout this season after they were unable to hold a three-goal lead.

Jack Johnson
Defense - LAK
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 5 | PTS: 9
SOG: 41 | +/-: -1
2 -- Power-play goals in overtime by Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson, who scored to beat the Rangers on Oct. 7 and Philadelphia eight days later. Before this season, not only had Johnson never scored an overtime goal, he had never had a game-winner of any kind.

3 -- Games in which the winning goal was scored in the final 20 seconds of regulation. Ottawa beat Columbus on Oct. 22 and Florida four nights later within the last five seconds of the third period; Philadelphia rookie Matt Read scored with 18.6 seconds left to beat Phoenix on Nov. 17.

4 -- Points scored by Sidney Crosby in his first NHL game in more than 10 months. Crosby returned Monday after being idled since Jan. 5 by a concussion and had two goals and two assists in Pittsburgh's 5-0 win against the Islanders.

5 -- Assists by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft last June, in Edmonton's 9-2 victory against Chicago last Saturday. Nugent-Hopkins became the first 18-year-old to get five assists in a game. He's also the leader among rookie scorers with 22 points.

6 -- Power-play goals scored by the St. Louis Blues, the fewest of any team through the first quarter. The Blues' 8.6 percent success rate is also a League low.

7 -- Largest margin of victory in an NHL game this season. It happened twice on the same night -- Boston beat Toronto 7-0 and Philadelphia whipped Columbus 9-2, both on Nov. 5 -- and again this past Saturday when Edmonton beat Chicago 9-2.

8 -- Most rounds in any of the 40 games that have gone to a shootout. Trevor Daley of the Stars scored in the eighth round to give Dallas a 3-2 victory at Phoenix on Oct. 25.

9 -- One-goal wins by the Minnesota Wild, the most of any team in the League. Only four of the Wild's League-high 13 victories have been by more than one goal.

10 -- Longest winning streak by any team so far this season. Boston made it 10 wins in a row by rallying to beat the Sabres 4-3 in a shootout at Buffalo in its last game before Thanksgiving. All 10 wins have come in November; Boston will try to make it 11 in a row on Friday against Detroit in the Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (1 p.m. ET; NBC; TSN).

Jordan Staal
Center - PIT
GOALS: 10 | ASST: 6 | PTS: 16
SOG: 44 | +/-: 6
10 -- Goals by Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal, six more than big brother Eric -- who has finished with more goals than his little brother every season since Jordan entered the NHL in 2006.

11-- Shootout goals (in 16 attempts) by New Jersey, a big reason the Devils have a League-high five wins in six tiebreakers. Two of the successful attempts came in an Oct. 15 win at Nashville, one of two teams (Vancouver is the other) that has not stopped a shootout attempt

12 -- Shots on goal by the Nashville Predators in their 3-1 loss at Edmonton on Oct. 17. The 12 shots are the fewest by any team in the NHL this season. Four teams have had just 14 in a game -- and have gone 3-0-1 in those games.

13 -- Goals (including two in shootouts) allowed by the St. Louis Blues in the eight games since Ken Hitchcock replaced Davis Payne in the only coaching change so far this season. St. Louis is 5-1-2 under Hitchcock.

16 -- Games in which the Predators have been outshot, the most of any team in the NHL. Thanks to some timely scoring and the goaltending of Pekka Rinne, the Predators are 9-5-2 when the opposition gets more shots.

17 -- Total goals scored by the Winnipeg Jets (9) and Philadelphia Flyers (8) in their meeting at the Wells Fargo Center on Oct. 27. It was the most goals by two teams in one game since San Jose beat Pittsburgh 10-8 on Jan. 13, 1996.

30 -- Points by Toronto's Phil Kessel, giving him the League lead at the quarter pole. He's also tops with  16 goals, exactly half of the 32 he scored in 2010-11.

35 -- Opposition power plays killed off at home by New Jersey, the only team in the NHL that has not allowed a power-play goal to a visiting team. Overall, the Devils have killed off 93.8 percent of opponents' power plays, the best mark in the NHL.

50 -- Shots on goal by Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson, the most by any player who hasn't scored a goal this season. Johnson does have nine assists.

52 -- Most shots by any team in a game. It happened in the season-opener for the San Jose Sharks, who bombarded Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes in a 6-3 win.
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