The combined record of NHL teams when trailing after two periods in 2011 is 30-500-43. In other words, when a team is losing going into the third period it wins only 5% of the time.
This season when the New York Rangers trail after two periods, they are 7-13-3. That means they win those games over 30% of the time, nearly six times the league average.
The Rangers’ resiliency is a huge reason they head into the All-Star break ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference, and are on pace for 96 points, nine more than they had last season.
New York has picked up 17 points in the 23 games they’ve trailed after two periods, good for nearly .74 points per game. No other team is close to that rate — the next most-efficient teams, Dallas and Detroit, each have 12 points in their 19 such games. By contrast, the NHL average points per game for teams trailing after two is .365 points per game.
If the Rangers played to the league average when entering the third period trailing, they’d have nine less points on the season. That would put them at 52 points on the season, and drop them into ninth place, out of the playoff picture.
So if New York makes a return to the postseason in 2011, you’ll know why. Their luck and hard work late in games has buoyed them like no other team in hockey.
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