Newsflash: Dustin Brown is having a pretty good playoff run for the Los Angeles Kings.
Unless you couldn't find CNBC on your local cable provider, you were no doubt aware of this: Brown has nine points in seven games, he's a plus-8 and has two short-handed goals.
He's also among the leaders in "first goals" in the postseason; as in players who score the first goal of the game. Brown's done it twice; Zach Parise of the New Jersey Devils has done it three times to lead all postseason scorers.
The Kings and Devils are, by far, the best first-period teams of the remaining Stanley Cup Playoff contenders. Both have a plus-5 goal differential — the Devils through nine games and the Kings through seven.
The trick, however, is holding that lead.
The Devils had led five of their nine games after the first period. As you can see in the chart below, their second periods have been rather challenging, with Game 2 against the Flyers an exception to that trend. The Devils are 3-2 when leading after the first period.
|Team (Games)||Regulation Goal Differential||Goal Differential — 1st||Goal Differential — 2nd||Goal Differential — 3rd|
|Los Angeles Kings (7)||+8||+5||-1||+4|
|New Jersey Devils (9)||+2||+5||-7||+4|
|Washington Capitals (9)||-2||+2||-1||-3|
|New York Rangers (9)||+4||+1||+3||Even|
|Nashville Predators (7)||+2||+1||-4||+5|
|Philadelphia Flyers (7)||Even||-1||-2||+3|
|Phoenix Coyotes (8)||+6||-1||+7||Even|
|St. Louis Blues (7)||+2||-2||Even||+4|
The Blues haven't lost a game they were leading after the first period (2-0) or the second period (3-0). The Rangers are 1-2 when leading after one … and they're 1-2 when trailing after one. The Flyers have rallied for three wins when trailing after one, losing only once.
The Capitals, Blues and Predators have only trailed after the first period once and lost those games. The Kings, meanwhile, won the only game in which they trailed after the first and are 3-0 in games in which they've led after two. Thank you, Jonathan Quick.
What about scoring the first goal? It looks something like this:
And thank you, Braden Holtby.