Will scoring first make the difference?

In tomorrow night’s game against Anaheim, will scoring the first goal be of paramount importance? The Ducks have an 0-8-1 record this season when they allow the first goal of a game, and an 0-6-1 record when trailing after the first period. Now, in reality, scoring the first goal is a big advantage for almost every team — 23 of 30 teams have a winning percentage higher than .500 this season when they score the first goal — but Terry Murray was asked whether scoring the first goal against the Ducks would take on extra importance.

MURRAY: “That’s very critical in this game, to have a good start to the game, a good first period. Everything is so close today, checking, structure, defensively, it’s incredible around the league, so you never want to get yourself into a situation like we had against Vancouver. You get down by three goals and now you’re trying to turn the tables and climb back into it. It’s very hard to do. It’s hard to do against any team in the league. We played against Minnesota the other night, and they were the top defensive team in the National Hockey League, so the start was critical. It’s the same against every team.”

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