<
>
Insider

The key stats that will sway the Stanley Cup finals

The Sharks have qualified for the first Stanley Cup finals appearance in franchise history. Do they have another four wins in the tank? Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks is one of the closest statistical matchups in recent memory. Going back to Jan. 1 and including the playoffs, the Sharks have outscored opponents by 39 goals at even strength, while the Penguins have topped opponents by 41 goals at even strength. San Jose has a 51.8 Corsi for percentage since the turn of the calendar year, and Pittsburgh sits at 53.1. The Sharks have the most power-play goals in the Western Conference during the past six months, and the Penguins have the most power-play tallies in the East.

Both teams have future Hall of Fame No. 1 centers, elite offensive defensemen and hot young goaltenders. They both have different coaches than they had last year. The Penguins and Sharks are deep, dynamic and exciting teams, which should make for a terrific series.

If the matchup is so close, how can we determine which team will come out on top? By looking in depth at the numbers and some of the key matchups.