Thursday, December 3, 2015

Five on the Fly: Hellebuyck's Milestone, O'Reilly's Faceoff Dominance

Every day, TSP will break down five random stats that might be of interest to you. Here's today's stipend:

1. Hell yeah Hellebuyck

Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 of 33 shots to become the second goalie in Winnipeg Jets' franchise history to start his career with back-to-back wins (Kari Lehtonen was the first, in March 2004).

2. Bruins Get a Point in Edmonton -- what else is new?

Boston lost, 3-2 in a shootout at Rexall Place last night, but kept the NHL's second-longest ACTIVE streak vs. one opponent alive. The Bruins have now collected points in 15 straight games vs. the Oilers. Unfortunately for Edmonton, the Coyotes have an even longer active streak--19--against them.

3. Nilsson is perfect in shootouts

Enough bad news about the Oilers. Here's some good news. Goalie Anders Nilsson has never lost in the skilzz competition:

4. Ryan O'Reilly's Face-Off #'s Climbing

Ryan O'Reilly is a vastly improved face-off man this season in Buffalo. He's currently 4th in the NHL overall (Go to for a complete list), but he's really been good in the offensive zone on the power play. The 24-year-old has won 60 of 84 power play faceoffs in the offensive zone. Only Vancouver's Bo Horvat has a higher percentage, but the Vancouver center has only taken 23 such draws, winning 18.

O'Reilly won face-offs at a career-best 53.4 percent last year with Colorado. This year he's winning them at a 59.3 percent clip. Buffalo's power play is currently 5th in the league and O'Reilly is a big reason.

5. Caps Streaking

Washington enters tonight's showdown with a beleagured Canadiens squad riding a five-game winning streak. The Caps could pull into a tie with the first-place Rangers with a win, and they'd have two games in hand. Washington, which boasts three players with 20 or more points, has scored 21 goals in their last five--a feat that's pretty impressive given the paucity of goal scoring that we've seen this season.