The Winnipeg Jets were outshot 48 to 19 against the Nashville Predators in the series opener of the second round of the 2017-2018 NHL Stanly Cup playoffs. Despite the -29 shot differential, the jets won the game 4 - 1.

What are the top 10 worst shot differentials in the history of the NHL for a team that won a playoffs game? Please provide the shot differential, teams playing, the playoff round at which the teams played, as well as the final score of the game. To answer this question you may go back only as far back as 1956, that's the year the NHL began shot tracking.

1 Answer 1


The worst shot differential by a team in a playoff win is -37, when the Chicago Black Hawks beat the Boston Bruins 6-4 on 4/11/1975, despite being outshot 19-56.

To find this, I first looked up the lowest shots by a team to win a playoff game, which was 10. Then, I looked up all the teams that won a playoff game, but whose opponent scored at least 39, since that would give us the -29 difference; no team could have a shot differential worse than -29 unless their opponent had 39 shots. Luckily, there were at least 10 teams with worse shot differentials in a winning playoff game, so I didn't have to expand my search.

I found them by copying all the games in Excel (only 416, two pages on Hockey-Reference), and then calculated the shot differential for each game and sorted them.

Here is the list of the top 10 (11, due to ties):

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Note on unusual abbreviations: CBH is the Chicago Black Hawks, before they changed to the single-word "Blackhawks". WIN is the original Winnipeg Jets, before they moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes.

Cool stat: the 2002 Montreal Canadiens are on here twice, in two different rounds! Jose Theodore was their goalie.

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