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Fun with numbers: Pittsburgh vs. New Jersey

Mar 17, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

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No doubt about it, New Jersey has absolutely dominated defending champion Pittsburgh all season long. Whether it’s been at the Rock or Mellon Arena, the Penguins have had no answer for Martin Brodeur and Co. If the Devils win tonight’s game, that’ll make it a 6-0 sweep of the season series and give New Jersey the division lead once again.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrunn collected some nice stats from the Elias Sports Bureau. I’ll share some highlighted bits from that post.

Pittsburgh had the shot edge in four of the five games (33-26, 26-25, 35-30, 32-33, 35-32).

The Penguins have gone 0-18 on the power play, the Devils 3-16.

Brodeur is 5-0-0 with a 0.60 goals-against average and a .981 save percentage (three goals against on 161 shots); Marc-Andre Fleury has played and lost four games (4.04, .857, 14 goals against on 98 shots).

By my expert math, the Devils have outscored the Pens by a staggering 17-3. To boil it down to two factors, it seems like the two biggest advantages have been goaltending and special teams. But it seems like the Devils were quite a bit stronger when it came to scoring goals too. *Cough*

Anyway, I thought I’d take a quick look at the road ahead for both teams. After all, the Penguins can still win the division even if they never slay that New Jersey dragon. So, to keep it simple, let’s just look at a few factors for each team.

Pittsburgh:

Last 10 games record: 6-1-3; Most relevant injury situation: Malkin (day-to-day); home/away games: 7 home, 6 away.

New Jersey:

Last 10 games record: 5-4-1; Most relevant injury situation: Martin (about to return); home/away games: 8 home, 6 away

The two teams’ similar situations makes it clear just how important this game is. What do you think, sweaty, possibly green beer drinking masses? Will New Jersey or Pittsburgh win the Atlantic division this season?

(My guess: the Devils make a deal for the division title.)

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Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4499)
  2. T. Oshie (3470)
  3. M. Duchene (3310)
  4. B. Bishop (2860)
  5. M. Brodeur (2860)