I heard following hypothesis about ice-hockey statistics;

-20 min left (i.e. whole third period) -situation is 0-1

I was told the team that is trailing, has bigger probability to win the game. Has anyone seen such statistics to prove if this is the case?

  • 2
    Could you provide some information as to where you saw this? On the face of it, it sounds like complete rubbish, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
    – Philip Kendall
    May 7, 2021 at 12:16
  • I heard it from the radio. May 7, 2021 at 12:26
  • Was it a general statement by the commentator, or specific to one of the teams involved? It's hard to believe it's true in general. But very possible if a team can't hold their lead, or surges back in the third
    – alamoot
    May 7, 2021 at 14:48
  • A site with per-period scores would make this easy to analyze. I found one which shows it's not true for all teams trailing at the start of the third, but it doesn't break out "0-1" scores versus down by 4, so it's not that useful.
    – BowlOfRed
    May 7, 2021 at 17:45
  • Question - are you counting a "win" as a regulation win only? or do OT / Shootout wins count as "wins", too?
    – ImClarky
    May 7, 2021 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


Note: This is currently a preliminary answer - perhaps more to come depending on what the OP wants.

Going by the results from the 2020/2021 NHL season (until 7th May) there have been a total of 67 games where the game was 1-0 to either team at the end of the second period.

Of these, there were 6 games where that 1-0 deficit was overturned by the other team in regulation, giving an 8.96% overturn rate - or a roughly 1 in 11 chance.

So, statistically, the team trailing 1-0 at that point are significantly less likely to win1.

These games were:

Date Game End of P2 Score Final
14th Feb 2021 Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs 0 : 1 2 : 1
19th Mar 2021 New York Rangers v Washington Capitals 1 : 0 1 : 2
24th Mar 2021 Calgary Flames v Ottawa Senators 1 : 0 1 : 3
4th Apr 2021 Minnesota Wild v Vegas Golden Knights 0 : 1 2 : 1
20th Apr 2021 Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers 1 : 0 1 : 4
1st May 2021 Los Angeles Kings v Anaheim Ducks 0 : 1 2 : 1

  1. Obviously, as this data is coming from the middle of the 2020/21 season of the NHL, this is just a subset of all possible Ice Hockey games - so the real value is likely to be something different.

I must give credit to this site which listed out all of the games, plus their period by period scores, in which I scraped together the information into a spreadsheet...

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