One of the most exciting parts of the Stanley Cup playoffs is the dramatic momentum changes that sweep through so many of the series. From one game—even one period—to the next, fans are kept on the edge of their seats, never knowing quite what to expect.
The odds aren't great for teams that fall behind. With data through 2010, NHL.com shows that teams that trail 2-0 in a series only come back to win 12.7 percent of the time, while teams that are down 3-1 succeed in just 8.7 percent of their series.
These days, teams profess to take 'em one game at a time, and the strategy seems to be paying dividends.
In 2013, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers were both down 2-0 in their first-round series before coming back to advance. As for the Chicago Blackhawks, they rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Semifinal against Detroit before winning in seven games, then trailed 2-1 against the Boston Bruins before winning three straight games to claim the Stanley Cup.
Early impressions in 2014 indicate that this year's underdogs seem particularly unfazed by long odds. On Wednesday night, the trailing Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks all came back to tie their series at two games apiece.
With the Montreal Canadiens already resting up for Round 2, that leaves four squads strategizing about how to mount their own comebacks and ultimately advance. Here's a look at the keys to success for the playoffs' trailing teams.
All stats courtesy of NHL.com.