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Pens' room for improvement? Try special teams

by John Kreiser / Pittsburgh Penguins
Total: 12-3-6 (OT: 6-3, SO: 6-6)

Evgeni Malkin had two of the Penguins' six overtime goals. In shootouts, however, the NHL's scoring leader was just 2-for-7 (28.6 percent) -- which actually improved his career percentage to 20.8 (5-for-24).

Times Scored First
46 (Record: 30-10-6)

The Penguins were tied for second in the NHL with 46 first goals, but they were also among the League leaders with 16 losses in games in which they scored first.

Best '08-09 Number             11
Victories by the Penguins in games they trailed after two periods, the most in the NHL. The Penguins were by far the NHL's best team when trying to make up a deficit after 40 minutes, going 11-21-2. No other team won more than eight such games.

Worst '08-09 Number          5-8-1
Pittsburgh's record in both December and January. When the Penguins' slump continued into early February, GM Ray Shero brought in Dan Bylsma to replace Michel Therrien as coach. The rest is history.

The Penguins have a four-game trip followed by a five-game homestand in October, but their big test comes right after Christmas, when they play 11 of 15 on the road. They finish their tenure at Mellon Arena with a six-game homestand before ending with two games on the road.

Author: John Kreiser | Columnist

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