Pettersson, Heiskanen, Hart among top difference-makers in Playoffs

thumbnail goes Behind the Numbers to identify key statistics during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Today, a look at one of the top statistical performers at each position through the 25-day mark of the postseason.


Elias Pettersson, C, Vancouver Canucks

The 21-year-old has taken his game to a new level in the NHL postseason with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 12 games, second in the League behind Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (20 points; seven goals, 13 assists). Pettersson leads the Canucks with a plus-19 SAT (no other Vancouver player is higher than plus-3) and a plus-20 SAT when behind in games. His nine power-play points (three goals, six assists) lead the League in the postseason and have contributed to the Canucks’ sixth-ranked power play (25.0 percent).

Video: VAN@VGK, Gm2: Pettersson scores on incredible deke


Alex Tuch, RW, Vegas Golden Knights

Tuch is second at the position in postseason goals (six), one behind Denis Gurianov of the Dallas Stars. Five of Tuch’s goals have been scored at even strength and his plus-66 SAT is ranked third at the position behind Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning (plus-113) and Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche (plus-78). What separates Tuch from other right wings is his efficiency; of the top 13 postseason scorers at the position, Tuch’s average time on ice of 15:30 ranks 12th.


Ondrej Palat, LW, Tampa Bay Lightning

Palat has scored six points (two goals, four assists) in 11 games and is second in the NHL in postseason SAT (plus-102) behind Kucherov. Palat has been skating mostly on the Lightning’s top line with Kucherov and center Brayden Point, who is fourth in SAT (plus-97) to form one of the best puck-possession lines in the League. Palat could increase his scoring if his shooting percentage (7.1) reverts closer to his career postseason average of 15.8 percent, with 23 goals in 78 games.


Miro Heiskanen, D, Dallas Stars

The 21-year-old leads defenseman with 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 12 postseason games, averaging 25:48 of average ice time. Heiskanen’s 11 even-strength points (two goals, nine assists) lead the position and his four power-play points (one goal, three assists) are tied for third among defensemen with Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins, Alex Pietrangelo of the St. Louis Blues and John Carlson of the Washington Capitals. Heiskanen leads defensemen in points per 60 minutes (2.57) among those to play at least 10 postseason games.

Video: DAL@CGY, Gm6: Heiskanen one-times PPG past Talbot


Carter Hart, G, Philadelphia Flyers

The 22-year-old has a .935 save percentage in the postseason, second to Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens (.936) among goalies with at least 10 starts, and two shutouts. Hart’s even-strength save percentage (.953) leads all goalies with at least six starts and his seven wins are fourth behind Semyon Varlamov of the New York Islanders, Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning and Jacob Markstrom of the Canucks, each tied for first with eight.

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