It's not how you start, it's how you finish.
That's partially true. A great start is often a sensational idea when you are in the business of winning in the NHL. However, when it comes to determining a team's overall strength, playing well late in the game tells coaches and general managers a lot more about a team's resiliency and what the boys in the locker room like to call character.
It's no surprise that teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks are the best teams in the league as the game progresses since they possess the two best records in the league.
However, some of the better teams in the league have struggled a bit when they have the lead, while others have not shown any ability to come back from a late deficit.
(All stats referenced are courtesy of NHL.com.)