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Playoffs are a different story

In the playoffs, scoring goals becomes less important than preventing them. None of the highest-scoring regular season teams since 1994 (when the current 16-team playoff format was introduced) have won the Stanley Cup, and only two have gone to the finals.

4L - Stanley Cup finals
Year Team Goals
(Regular)
Goals
(Playoffs)
Difference Playoff results
2009-10 Washington 3.82
2008-09 Detroit 3.52 3.30 -0.32
2007-08 Ottawa 3.15 1.25 -1.90 1L - First round
2006-07 Buffalo 3.63 2.75 -0.88 3L - Conference finals
2005-06 Ottawa 3.80 3.60 -0.20 2L - Second round
2003-04 Ottawa 3.20 1.43 -1.77 1L - First round
2002-03 Detroit 3.28 1.50 -1.78 1L - First round
2001-02 Vancouver 3.10 2.67 -0.43 1L - First round
2000-01 New Jersey 3.60 2.76 -0.84 4L - Stanley Cup Finals
1999-2000 Detroit 3.39 2.56 -0.83 2L - Second round
1998-99 Toronto 3.27 2.53 -0.74 3L - Conference finals
1997-98 St. Louis 3.12 2.90 -0.22 2L - Second round
1996-97 Pittsburgh 3.48 2.60 -0.88 1L - First round
1995-96 Pittsburgh 4.41 3.12 -1.29 3L - Conference finals
1994-95 Quebec 3.85 3.12 -0.63 1L - First round
1993-94 Detroit 4.24 3.86 -0.38 1L - First round
SOURCES: NHL | CREDITS: Graphic by Barry Svrluga, Sisi Wei - The Washington Post, April 15, 2010.

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