Five team stats that help explain the Bruins’ success
1. Five on five, the Bruins are scoring 1.73 goals for every goal they give up. The next best team in that category is Chicago, well back at 1.33. This is very similar to what the B’s did in 2011 when they won the Stanley Cup despite a power play that finished at 11.4 percent. Many may have forgotten that the crowd at TD Garden actually started booing the home team in Game 3 of the finals when it couldn’t convert on Aaron Rome’s five-minute major for hitting Nathan Horton late. Boston’s five-on-five ratio for the 2011 postseason finished at 1.82.
2. Boston is 4-2 when the opponent scores first. No other playoff team has a winning record in this category. (Chicago is 3-3.) Whether this points to the Bruins’ belief in their system and their willingness to stick to the plan even when trailing, or if it’s more of a rah-rah, the-Bruins-never-say-die, don’t-poke-the-bear thing, whatever it is, it’s working.
3. The Bruins have won 56.2 percent of their faceoffs. Again, tops among all playoff teams. The importance of faceoffs has been debated, with some arguing they’re not as vital as the publicity the statistic gets suggests. But here’s the thing: if you’re going to take a faceoff, you might as well try to win it. Of note, the Penguins actually won the overall faceoff battle, 51-38, in Game 3. Pittsburgh also scored its only goal of the game off a won draw:
4. Boston is killing penalties at 85.7 percent. Not the best (it’s actually 6th, with Chicago leading at a ridiculous 96.4%), but it’s been perfect (12-for-12) against a Penguins team that came into the Eastern Conference finals practically scoring at will with the man advantage. How Gregory Campbell’s absence will affect the Bruins’ PK will be something to watch. No Boston forward has spent as much time killing penalties (32:04) as Campbell has this postseason.
5. The Bruins are 4-1 in overtime. Their only loss came in Game 4 versus the Rangers. Just like in 2011, if the Bruins hadn’t been successful in sudden death, they wouldn’t have even gotten out of the first round. Call it luck or call it a team that elevates its game when the pressure’s on -- it’s probably a bit of both -- it’s one more reason the B’s are five wins away from another Cup.