Columnist image
Scott Cullen Analytics


Carlson keeps Capitals power play clicking; Ovechkin, Quick, Pominville, Haula and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

For the third straight game in these playoffs, Washington Capitals defenceman John Carlson found the back of the net with a power play goal. He also added a pair of assists in Washington's 6-1 Game Three win at Philadelphia.

Carlson, who mans the point on the league's top power play, scored two power play goals during the regular season, a total that he's already surpassed in three games against Philadelphia. He now has six points (3 G, 3 A) through three games, with five of those points coming with the man advantage.

That Capitals power play was lethal, going 5-for-9 in Game Three alone, against a Flyers team that appeared intent on causing mayhem and ended up paying for it.


Alex Ovechkin - Sticking with another big shooter on the Washington power play, Ovechkin tallied a pair of goals and an assist, while launching 18 shot attempts (5 SOG) in the 6-1 rout at Philadelphia.

Jonathan Quick - Backstopped the Kings to a crucial 2-1 overtime win in Game Three at San Jose, turning away 29 of 30 shots; 29 straight after allowing Joe Thornton to score on the Sharks' first shot on goal. Going back to the regular season, Quick had recorded more than 29 saves just twice in his previous 23 games, so he's not often asked to handle the workload that he did in Game Three, but the Kings needed every one of those saves to keep them in the series.

Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula and Jason Pominville - Minnesota climbed off the mat in their series with Dallas, winning 5-3 in Game Three, thanks to this line.

Pominville led the way for the Wild, scoring two goals and adding an assist. Going back to the regular season, Pominville had no goals and three assists in his previous 13 games.

Haula contributed a goal and an assist, continuing his strong production down the stretch. After managing 11 points in his first 46 games of the season, Haula finished the regular season with 23 points (10 G, 13 A) in his last 30 games. He missed the first game of the series with injury, but Haula has returned to play a big role. He saw 17:39 of ice time in Game Three, a total he surpassed twice in 76 games this year.

Niederreiter added a couple of assists and Minnesota's top possession player during the regular season, controlled play (19 for, 9 against, 67.9 SAT%) effectively when he was on the ice at even strength in Game Three.


Steve Mason - Philadelphia's goaltender was feasted upon by the Capitals power play, which isn't surprising given how much Mason struggled in shorthanded situations this season. Ultimately, he allowed six goals on 27 shots in a 6-1 loss to Washington, leaving him with a .852 save percentage through three games in this series.

John Klingberg - Dallas' dynamic defenceman struggled in terms of possession (16 for, 23 against, 41.0 SAT%) and was on for four goals against (including an empty-netter), with one for, in a 5-3 Game Three loss at Minnesota.

Brenden Dillon - The Sharks blueliner had team-worst possession stats (4 for, 13 against, 23.5 SAT%) and, in conjunction with Logan Couture, was caught out of position in neutral ice in the moments leading up to Los Angeles' game-winning goal.


Brent Burns - San Jose's playmaking blueliner accumulated an eye-popping 19 shot attempts in Game Three against Los Angeles, yet only five of those of those made it on net and he didn't come away with any points in a 2-1 overtime loss.


Drew Doughty - The Kings leaned heavily on their No. 1 defenceman, playing him 35:01 at San Jose. He had to play a lot because Kings head coach Darryl Sutter wasn't trusting Jamie McBain (5:42) or Brayden McNabb (10:30). With their season on the line, the Kings were more apt to play Rob Scuderi (24:04) and Luke Schenn (23:04).

Brooks Orpik - The Capitals defenceman was clearly the worse for wear after taking a hit from Flyers forward Ryan White.

Dmitry Orlov - Another Washington defenceman was crushed into the boards. Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare flattened Orlov from behind. While the hit was ugly, it appeared initially that Orlov managed to escape serious injury.


Stars RW Patrick Sharp scored two goals, his first of the postseason, and had a team-high seven shots on goal in the loss at Minnesota…Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom, RW T.J. Oshie and RW Justin Williams each contributed a pair of assists against Philadelphia. Backstrom, with six points (1 G, 5 A), is tied with Carlson for the team lead, while those were Williams' first playoff points for Washington. Looking at these short shifts, it was apparently a productive night for right wingers acquired last summer. Capitals G Braden Holtby stopped 31 of 32 shots, and has a .978 save percentage in the series.

Much of the data included comes from and

Scott Cullen can be reached at